The Augusta Players Children's Wing is rehearsing Charlotte's Web, its second production of the 2002-2003 season.
The play will be presented March 28 at 7 p.m., March 29 at 5 p.m. and March 30 at 3 p.m. at the Westside High School gymnasium. Seating is general admission - $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
The production involves 41 children, from ages 6-17. Charlotte is played by Caroline Schuman, 13, of Evans, and Fern is played by two girls, Samantha Henning and Kendyl Rose Pennington, both of Martinez.
"It's a very kid-oriented production - very musical and very light," said director Claudia Ballas. "It's very different from the movie. The music is different. The music is more melodic and sing-songy. People will walk away remembering the tunes this show presents."
This will be Ballas' directorial debut. Ballas is a product of the Augusta Youth Theater, beginning her acting career at age 13 and continuing in main-stage productions.
Blake Haynie, 10,
portrays Wilbur the pig and Caroline Schuman, 13, of Evans, is the title character in the Augusta Players Childrens Wing production of Charlottes Web. Performances will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Westside High School gym.
Photo by Jonathan Ernst
"I'm very involved with theater, and now I wanted to take a larger step and try directing myself," she said. "It's been an experience. It's a larger, more stressful job than people realize."
The Augusta Players is in its 58th consecutive season. It has two youth performance groups, the Children's Wing - with actors ages 6-18 - and the Youth Theater for ages 13-18. After Charlotte's Web, the Youth Theater will begin rehearsing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, which will be presented June 6-8.
The Youth Theater has produced such standouts as Sutton Foster - who won a 2002 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her role of Millie Dillmount in the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie - and her brother Hunter Foster, who was nominated for best actor for his part in the Broadway musical Urinetown.
Debi Ballas, executive director of the Augusta Players, said the group is now working to secure a permanent place for its youth productions.
"One of our main missions is to procure a permanent facility for our youth theater - it's one of our primary goals right now, so we won't be borrowing space to rehearse and perform," she said.
For more information, call 826-4707.
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