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Theater group to present 'Five Children and It' this weekend

July 07, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle Amateur Players will present "Five Children and It" this weekend at the Jerome R. King Bandshell in Greencastle.

The play will be presented today at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Ellen Burke, who is directing the play, has been involved with the group since it was created five years ago and has directed the past three plays.

"It's a really good way for children to get involved in theater because they don't need to have any previous experience," said Burke, who has been involved with theater groups since sixth grade.

The play, which was written by Burke's twin sister, Jessie, and is based on a children's book by E. Nesbit, is about five children whose parents are called away to visit a sick grandmother while the family is on vacation, Burke said.

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While the parents are gone, the five children try to dig a hole through the center of the world, Burke said. They meet a fairy on their way, who says she will grant them one wish a day, but only until sunset.

"All their wishes somehow get messed up," Burke said. "They ask for a whole lot of wishes, but by the end, everything gets so out of control that they have to wish for everything to be undone and back to the way it was."

There are 29 actors and seven stage-crew members involved with the play, ranging in age from 7 to 16, Burke said.

The group's first performances were June 29 and 30, and it was pleased with the turnout.

Burke chose the play with the help of Jessie and her mother, June McIntosh.

"We decided on this one because I really liked the book," Burke said. "We wanted a play appropriate for all ages."

The set materials and costumes largely were reused items from past plays, or were donated or borrowed items, Burke said. Jessie also made some of the costumes, and a few had to be purchased.

"We had a set-building day - we had everyone come and build and paint backdrops (at my house)," Burke said. "My mom is very helpful with developing the play and putting together the sets."

Burke believes acting is a good way for children to make friends and grow.

"It's really great for children to get involved with theater," she said. "We see a lot of children who change through acting."

If you go

What: "Five Children and It," presented by the Greencastle Amateur Players

When: Today, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where: Jerome R. King Bandshell, Greencastle, Pa.

Admission is free.

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