By Gail McCarthy
---- — ROCKPORT — An endearing tale of friendship takes center stage over the next two weekends with the production of “Charlotte’s Web,” presented by Theatre in the Pines at the Community House in Rockport.
Nan Webber, the director, noted that the Children’s Literature Association named “Charlotte’s Web” the best American children’s book of the past 200 years. This children’s play was created by Joseph Robinette, working with the advice of author E.B. White.
“This is a thrilling theatrical presentation,” said Webber, who added that although this is a children’s play, the story is for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
The cast of 27 includes Kierstin Hazzard of Rockport as Charlotte, and her husband Scott Hazzard, who plays Templeton, the rat. Local favorite Jonathan Arnold is playing Wilbur, and Soni Razdan, a Rockport High School student, is playing Fern.
Webber said over the years parents have stopped her to say they remember the children’s theater she had done in the past and asked if she would consider doing a show again around the holidays.
“I decided on ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ my favorite children’s story. We did it 27 years ago with great success in Germany with Gloucester High thespians, and I thought this would be a nice Christmas treat for young and old alike,” she said. “There is so much to be learned in this story. Charlotte is a magical figure, and the rat at times is as good as he is bad.”
The play focuses on themes of friendship, loyalty and generosity.
The following synopsis describes the main characters: Wilbur is the irresistible young pig, who desperately wants to avoid the butcher; Fern is a girl who understands what animals say to each other; Templeton is the glutinous rat who can occasionally be talked into a good deed; Charlotte is the extraordinary spider, who proves to be a true friend and a very good writer. Determined to save Wilbur, Charlotte begins her campaign with the miracles of her web, in which she writes, “Some Pig.”
The show runs about an hour and 15 minutes, and is performed upstairs at the Community House at 58 Broadway in Rockport.
Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children. They can be purchased in advance at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport and The Bookstore in Gloucester, and at the door. Performances are Friday, Dec. 21 and 28, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 22 and 29, and Sunday, Dec. 23 and 30 at 2 p.m.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Charlotte's' cast Wilbur - Jonathan Arnold Charlotte - Kierstin Hazzard Rat - Scott Hazzard Narrators - Tom Rash, Jennifer Sheehan, Courtney Peckham Fern - Soni Razdan Avery - Nelson Pike Mr. Arable - David Prentice, Brian Kidder Mrs. Arable - Betsy Kidder Homer Zuckerman - Martin Ray Edith Zuckerman - Bernadette Cruz Goose - Trish Richards Gander - Freddy Arabian Sheep - Sarah Clark Lamb - Ruth Exama Lurvey - Mark Natti Uncle - Margaret Eddy Reporter - Walter Peckham Photographer - Barbara Brewer Judges- Steve Rask, Barbara Brewer, Anne Hyde Announcer - Randy Dupps Charlotte's children - Jada Exama, Joshua Sheehan Spectators - Patti Natti, Alexis Exama. Set Design - Martin Ray Set Painting - Paul Ciarmetaro