Dessa is a modern-day 12-year-old with no shortage of mysteries to solve and fossils to find. Her days are filled with buried treasures just waiting to be uncovered. But when her family of three unexpectedly becomes a family of two, this smart, funny young scientist struggles to overcome her grief and anger at all the changes in her world. Dessa’s unlikely comfort comes from a remarkable new friend, one only she can see and hear—Mary Anning, the 19th-century paleontologist who discovered a breakthrough dinosaur fossil at the age of 12 and became a pioneer in her field. But why is her portrait not on the museum wall alongside those of her male counterparts? Dessa decides that she’s going to fight to earn Mary the respect she deserves. With help from her new classmate and once-rival, Nilo, Dessa unearths secrets of the past and present—for Mary’s legacy and her own way forward.
Ages 10 and up. 60 minutes with no intermission.
By Laura Schellhardt
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing
Director: Julia Flood
Themes of Digging Up Dessa: comedy-drama-adventure, empowerment for girls, resilience, history, STEAM, grief, allyship
In-person and virtual school field trips also available. For more information, please contact School Bookings and Audience Services Manager, Eleanor Marsh.
Email [email protected] (As staff continues to work remotely, email is preferred.)