Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 19, 1974 · Page 89
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 89

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 19, 1974
Page 89
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Page 89 article text (OCR)

What to do? See 'Bolligrew!' By Martha' Smith Since today is your last bp- Iportunity to see the final Iseason offering of Children's [Theater jbfiCharleston, it I seems an appropriate time [to examine this show in par- I ticular and the whole season fin general;-| "The Thwarting of Baron {Bolligrew|; tjy Robert Bolt is a very fine|contemporary children's-Comedy. It has all the ingredients to whet I young appetites: a wonderfully good knight in shining white armor who battles and defeats the evil baron and his bad guys; a fire-breathing dragon who sends nasty notes to.terrify the populace; talking birds (good and bad magpies) and a gaggle of Poor and Needy peasants led by a Lord Mayor who is only slightly better off than the peons (he can afford spats but not shoes.) All this is enticing not only f orthe young. It also grabs at the young-at-heart. I must confess I am addicted to children's plays. That's why the quality of this season -the classic "Rumplestil- skin." and the contemporary "Many Moons" and "Bol- ligrew" -- has been such an encouragement. This show', as most of the others this season, uses experienced adult actors as well as children. And, while some parents still cling to the all-children plays because they want to see little Johnny or Susie on the stage, most parents agree it's the quality of what their children see and enjoy which affects their artistic growth and love of theater. I subscribe to the philosophy that the best product -the most enjoyable to children attending plays -- is turned but by adults performing for children. As with most organizational activities, however, there are certain traditional procedures which often have political overtones. In the case of - children's theater, the tradition is one of having children perform for other children. The best of both worlds, then, has been achieved by Children's Theater of Charleston this season. Talented young people have appeared on stage and profited greatly from the opportunity-of perr' forming with adult actors. It's interesting to note that in "Bolligrew," many of the child actors participated in the six-week workshop series on performing arts. Another successful enterprise of CT of C and other cooperating city arts groups. The'key to success in children's theater is imagination. A cleverly produced show will encourage children in the audience to use their imaginations. Fantasy, found in the three plays I've mentioned (I omitted "The Red Shoes" because it was the one show which didn't appeal to me) is the favorite vehicle of authors of children's plays. Funny names are here in "Bolligrew". There are Sir Trumpington, Sir Strong- body, Sir Smoothly-Smoothe and Sir Oblong Fitz Oblong. Sight gags, symbolism, anachronisms. They're all there to amuse and to set active minds spinning. This show boasts some exceptionally talented people who have found children's theater a treat and, in that discovery, have added immeasurably to the enjoyment of countless numbers of children who attended the shows and fell in love with theater. Directors arid designers this year included Jan Arnold, Micki Maley, Tom Nash and Joan Young. Actors included veteran per- SINCI 1931 I MAIDEN | TELEVISION SERVICE SERVING · SNOW Hill · CAMFMU-SCK. · MALDIN · ·AND 7HONE 925-3174 Question Box Q. -- How many of the leading stars in "The Wizard of Oz" are still alive? I saw it again recently on TV and was thrilled by it once again. -Mrs. J.D., Johnsonburg, Pa. A. - The stars of the MGM classic film who are still liv- ing include Jack Haley, the Tin Man; Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch; and Ray Bolger? the Scarecro'w. All the other principals, including Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Bert Lahr and Billie Burke, have died. 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