By Joseph Pratt
“Stuart Little” will be the final show of the Portsmouth Area Arts Council’s (PAAC) 2013-2014 regularly scheduled season.
PAAC has partnered with the Portsmouth Public Library in recent days to host “family story time” events to get the kids prepared for the show and to introduce them to the world that the author has created. The show is just under a week away and students from the entire county are excited to see puppets bring this classic tale alive.
From the loving heart of E.B. White, author of “Charlotte’s Web,” comes this merry musical about a noble mouse who jumps headlong into big enough to match any imagination. Funny, tender and exciting, “Stuart Little” mixes gorgeous child-sized puppets with live actors to create theatre magic.
Becky Lovins, executive director of PAAC, said those associated with PAAC are excited to present this family-friendly, hour-long production at the Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University. The show was decided-on last year, when Lovins and PAAC sent out teacher surveys to attending schools.
PAAC is also hosting a junior theatre workshop with the performing theatre company to teach local students more depth to character development. The workshop is for students ages 8-18 and is limited to 40 students. The cost is $10 per student and the class is already at half capacity. PAAC will accept students at the door, pending availability, but students are urged to call ahead to reserve a seat.
“It is an interactive workshop that will be led by the cast of ‘Stuart Little.’ Students will learn to use their voices, body and imagination to explore the acting concept of character,” Lovins said. “This gives local kids an opportunity to work with college professionals and makes for a better rounded performer, because they have more styles learned from different directors.”
Special buy-one-get-one coupons are available around town. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, call the PAAC office at 740-351-3642 to get one. Special group rates of 10 or more are available by calling the McKinley Box Office during regular business hours.
“Stuart Little” will open curtains at 7:30 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on April 7. Further information can be found at www.facebook.com/pages/Portsmouth-Area-Arts-Council, or by calling 740-353-3600 and asking for Becky Lovins.
“It’s a phenomenal show. The child-size puppets that the actors use are very endearing, the music is very catchy and it is a very friendly way to tell the story,” Lovins said. “It is just an extremely family-friendly show and I think anyone who comes will be taken by it.”
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287 or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.