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Traveling tent theater not the same old song and dance

June 28, 2011|By AARON SAUNDERS | aaron.saunders@herald-mail.com
  • The Saint Luke Lutheran Tent Troupe from Silver Spring, Md., performs Tuesday at Funkstown Community Park.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

FUNKSTOWN — A group of about 30 children will remember to Reduce, Recycle and Re-Use after watching the Saint Luke Lutheran Tent Troupe perform for the first time in Funkstown Tuesday afternoon with its show “Once Upon A Time....”

“This is our 41st year, and we started because our youth minister pastor had a great love for music, theater and circus. At that time, there were a lot of troupes, but today we are the only traveling summer tent theater,” Drama Director Roney Shawe said.

The troupe, which hails from Silver Spring, Md., performed interactive singalongs at Community Park like the “Hokey Pokey” and “Peanut Butter and Jelly,” and stories that included the Chinese folktale, “Tiki Tiki Tembo,” and “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

The group is composed of seven high school students and 10 staffers who are either college age or older.

In addition to the 1:45 p.m. show, the troupe also was putting on a 7:45 p.m. show titled,  “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten.”

“I first heard about the show from my friend; she said it was cool, so I decided to try it out,” trouper Annie O’Connor said.

The event was sponsored by the Washington County Coalition of Lutherans and Thrivent services.

“We’re very fortunate to have this event here in Funkstown,” said Tom Perry, a member of the coalition. Perry said he saw the troupe 10 years ago in Williamsport, Md.

The tour, which lasts two to four weeks, will visit Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. In its 41 years, the troupe has performed in 29 states and Canada.

“My favorite part of the tour is the time we spend together. You really get a sense of family being on the road, and we really get to bond with each other,” O’Connor said.

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