Residents may celebrate the resurgence of live entertainment by enjoying the classic play “Charlotte’s Web,” to be performed by the Dolores Theater Troupe Friday and Saturday.
The “fabulous cast” boasts 35 students in grades four through 12, said director Pete Swingle, adding that the performance is “very heartfelt with some surprises.”
The play also will show off the theater’s new LED lights, which can be triggered remotely for special effects.
E.B. White’s familiar story of “Charlotte’s Web” follows the adventures of a little girl trying to save Wilbur the pig from slaughter with the help of a barn spider named Charlotte.
During a rehearsal Wednesday, student actors reflected on the performance and the tale’s various meanings.
“There is quite a bit of action; adults and kids will enjoy it,” said Julianne Vega, who plays Wilbur. “The struggles of the animals are similar to what people have. I really connect with the joy and enthusiasm of Wilbur.”
Senior Katelyn Carpenter and junior Noble Traweek play Charlotte and together use their arms to portray spider legs.
The play “is a story of friendship between a pig and a spider, which is peculiar, but shows friends can be from anywhere and look like anything. It is really beautiful,” Carpenter said.
“The audience will like the characters,” Traweek said. “They fit well together even though they are all so different. It is fun to act on stage, be someone else and tell this classic story.”
The little girl who saves Wilbur, Fern, is played by Reagan Burger, a seventh grader.
“It is a constant fight to keep Wilbur from going to the smokehouse,” she said, laughing. “The play is a childish and grown-up story at the same time – very literate too. I learned a lot of big words.”
The gander, played by freshman Addisen Saul, makes occasional appearances to complain about their gosling children in a humorous way.
“This is my first play,” Saul said. “I love entertaining people, and I aspire to be a voice actor, so this is good experience. Theater is fun, and the people are nice.”
Playing Templeton, the mean rat, has been cool, said sophomore Aiden Pym.
“He is a nervous and rude character, but then ends up doing something nice in the end,” Pym said.
The students said theater helps them overcome challenges of storytelling, make new friends and gain acting skills.
“I used to be very shy. Being in theater helped me gain confidence. Now I can talk to anybody and enjoy acting without the stage fright,” Burger said.
“Charlotte’s Web” will take the stage at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in the Dolores High School Commons auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.