Don't miss the opportunity to see this wonderful show! Ticket sales are brisk, and may very well sell out for other performances. Charlotte's Web continues tonight, Nov. 22, tomorrow afternoon at 3:00, and then next weekend, November 28, 29, and 30 Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30, Saturday morning at 10 AM (with character lunch following that performance) and ending on Sunday afternoon at 3:00.
Photo by David Conner
By Greg Donner
Very few things in the world can lay claim to being the best, the brightest, or the most loved of its genre; but there is one children’s book that can claim the title with no argument from anyone. E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” is by far the undisputed ruler of children’s literature. It has no peers in its popularity over time and the place it holds in the hearts or children and those who were children long ago. The story of Wilbur, a special little pig, and his friend Charlotte the spider has lived in the hearts of readers for decades and will continue to do so for many more.
The members of the Halifax County Little Theatre recognize the power of the story so much that they have decided to do a revival of the play version as the opening production of their 2014-2015 season, “A Season Worth Winning.” They last performed the tale ten years ago and decided that there is a whole new generation of youngsters and their parents who would love the live production of their favorite novel.
Erin Thackston has taken the lead as the show’s director and is learning the ropes as she works with Becky Donner to develop the production for opening night. She says, “I feel a great responsibility to our audiences to present this timeless classic which appeals to such a large audience. It was my favorite as a child and the first chapter book I read to my children.” The high esteem which the book is held puts a lot of pressure on the whole cast and crew to make the live performance a real theatre experience.
The play is adapted by Joseph Robinette and features all of White’s memorable characters and locales from the birth on the Arable farm to the prize winning moment of Wilbur’s ultimate triumph at the county fair.
The large cast features adults and children who fill roles ranging from a very large pig to the smallest of spiders, with dozens of sizes in between. HCLT newcomer Kasey Rising plays the kind spider Charlotte, who must find a way to save Wilbur from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Lorien Reeves is tackling the role of Wilbur with much aplomb for an actress so young.
Wilbur and Charlotte get a lot of support along the way from a cadre of barnyard regulars and of course Fern, the young girl who saved Wilbur from being sacrificed at birth. Audiences will be thrilled from start to finish by the faithful representation of the original material and the cast’s work to create the individual characters from the book.
Joining Thackston and Donner as part of the creative team are Pat Crew as choreographer and Ginny Bogart as Costume Designer. In addition, there is a large group of support personnel from Andy Rice as producer to set builders, makeup artists and painters. There are as many people working behind the scenes as there are on stage for such a grand undertaking, and everyone backstage is as committed to the success of the show as the performers. This is truly a labor of love.
Audiences have a treat in store on opening night when they can join Fern, the Arables and Zuckermans, Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton, and all of their barnyard family for a night of memory-making. Parents will want to be sure that their children get to experience this classic story live and share a lasting memory of a special family event.
But let’s be honest. ”Charlotte’s Web” isn’t just for children. Adults can appreciate the story on a whole different level about the sacrifices true friends make for one another. No one should be left out of the joy of the friendship between Wilbur and Charlotte.
The play opens at the Prizery Theatre at 7:30 on Friday, November 21. There are eight public performances planned, including two 10:00 a.m. shows on November 22 and 29, and two Sunday matinees on November 23 and 30. There will also be a special lunch for children with the cast members after the Saturday morning show on Nov. 29.
Season brochures for Little Theatre can be found at the Prizery, both libraries, and the visitor’s center. Patrons can call the box office at 572-8339, visit the Prizery to purchase tickets, or go online at www.prizery.com. Make plans early for the best seats and to be a part of this special event. Your children, or the child in you, will thank you for it.
Charlotte's Web Cast is in rehearsal for November 21 opening night!