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Hagerstown Children's Theater stages "Into the Woods"

April 30, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Caitlin Cremins, 14, of Hagerstown, is cast as Little Red Riding Hood in the Hagerstown Children's Theater production of "Into The Woods" and is shown at a dress rehearsal with Adam Marinelli (the Baker) at the troupe's studio theater Monday.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer,

Hagerstown Children's Theater production of "Into the Woods" is being staged Friday and Saturday at The Maryland Theatre, a two-day run its artistic director hopes will showcase the communion of the arts with education.

"Not every kid is a math-science learner," said artistic director Teri Walker. "Some of us are right-brain learners."

The play opens Friday night and continues with shows on Saturday, May 1, at the historic theater in downtown Hagerstown. Hagerstown Children's Theater - formerly known as Walker Performing Arts - offers theater classes and productions at its studio theater on Frederick Street.

"Into the Woods" is a two-act musical that weaves and twists plot lines from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. The play is based on the book by James Lapin with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The production won several Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards since it debuted in the late 1980s. Vanessa Williams was cast as the Witch and Judi Dench was the voice of Giant in a revival of "Woods" in 2002.

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In the children's theater production, Caitlin Cremins, 14, of Hagerstown, is cast as Little Red Riding Hood.

"She's mean," said Caitlin, describing her character. "She's a glutton."

Caitlin, an eighth-grader at Northern Middle School, said the play's alternate take on what it's like to live in the land of the happily ever after made her want to revisit the fairy tales she grew up reading.

"We've been wanting to do this play forever," Caitlin said.

David Burkey, 18, of Hagerstown, is cast as the Narrator, Mysterious Man and Rapunzel's Prince.

Burkey said he wasn't familiar with this play until Walker introduced it to him through HCT.

He said he was surprised - pleasantly - that this was a Sondheim play.

"His musicals are very different from the stereotypical kick lines, and the music is tough," Burkey said. "But then when I did some research, I realized how funny it was."

Walker said tonight's opener will be the first time the children's theater troupe has performed at The Maryland Theatre stage since its 2001 production of "The Wizard of Oz."

The troupe has 100 students and eight teachers, said Walker, who also operates a similar studio theater in Leesburg, Va.

Caitlin and Burkey said they have been with HCT for several years. They said they planned to pursue careers in theater.

"It's my dream," Caitlin said.




If you go ...



WHAT: "Into The Woods" presented by Hagerstown Children's Theater

WHEN: Opening curtain, 8 p.m. Friday, April 30, with additional shows 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 1.

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

COST: Reserved seating. Ticket prices cost $20 and $17 for tickets for students and children younger than 12, but do not reflect additional processing fees at The Maryland Theater's online ticket purchases. For ticket information, call the theater's box office: 301-790-2000 or go to http://www.mdtheatre.org

MORE: To learn more about Hagerstown Children's Theater (formerly Walker Performing Arts), go to http://www.mytheaterarts.com.

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