‘Char­lotte’s Web’to spin on Sal­ford stage

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Meghan Ross

Fall is known for cooler weather, turn­ing leaves and the ap­pear­ance of spi­ders and their webs, but there’s one spi­der in the spot­light this sea­son that no one should be afraid of.

This week­end, Sal­ford’s DCP The­atre presents “Char­lotte’s Web” Fri­day, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m., Satur­day, Oct. 6, at 1 and 4 p.m. and Sun­day, Oct. 7, at 1 and 4 p.m. This past Satur­day, Sept. 29, the ac­tors from the play made a visit to Har­leysville Books for a meet-and-greet, photo-op and sto­ry­telling.

“Char­lotte’s Web,” writ­ten by E.B. White, was adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette. The DCP The­atre pro­duc­tion is an hour-long show with­out an in­ter­mis­sion and is di­rected by Nathan Rutko. Tick­ets are $10.

The cast in­cludes ac­tors and ac­tresses vary­ing in age who por­tray char­ac­ters such as the daugh­ter Fern, Char­lotte, Wil­bur and Tem­ple­ton. Rutko said the cast is made up of about half chil­dren, with four adults and teenagers mak­ing up the rest.

The show is spon­sored by Drama Kids of Mont­gomery County. Colleen Al­geo, the theater’s mar-

ket­ing and PR co­or­di­na­tor, said the Drama Kids or­ga­ni­za­tion holds weekly classes at the theater, where kids learn act­ing and life skills. Rutko notes that four kids from Drama Kids of Mont­gomery County are in the pro­duc­tion of “Char­lotte’s Web.”

“I’m happy with the hard work of the cast,” said Rutko, who is also the theater’s his­to­rian.

Ac­cord­ing to Al­geo, the play will ap­peal to fam­i­lies with kids ages 3 and older. Rutko said both el­e­men­tary and mid­dle school students would en­joy the pro­duc­tion.

“The theater is us­ing a re­volv­ing set to re­veal scenes with the barn and the spi­der’s web. It’s re­ally artis­tic,” said Al­geo, who re­cently helped paint the set. “The kids are go­ing to love it.”

On Satur­day, the four main char­ac­ters from “Char­lotte’s Web” — Char­lotte, Fern, Wil­bur and Tem­ple­ton — vis­ited Har­leysville Books in cos­tume. Shelly Plumb, owner of the book­store, said about 15 peo­ple showed up to the event.

“I think it was pretty wellat­tended con­sid­er­ing that many peo­ple came on a Satur­day morn­ing,” Plumb said.

She said the at­ten­dees were prob­a­bly a mix­ture of DCP The­atre sup­port­ers and Har­leysville Books sup­port­ers.

“It’s my hope and un­der­stand­ing that we’ll try to do this again with DCP The­atre shows,” Plumb said.

7KLV LVn’W WKH firVW WLPH Har­leysville Books has had DCP The­atre ac­tors come to the book­store. Plumb said ac­tors from the theater came to pro­mote their pro­duc­tion of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Rutko said he thought of the idea to have these kinds of pro­mo­tional events about two years ago when the theater did a pro­duc­tion of “The Vel­veteen Rab­bit.” The theater sent some of the cast to Har­leysville Books and the event was a suc­cess, so the events have con­tin­ued.

Al­geo said Har­leysville Books and DCP The­atre have a part­ner­ship to­gether in which they cross-pro­mote. Ac­cord­ing to the theater’s web­site, a 5 per­cent do­na­tion is made to the theater when some­one uses the coupon code “DCP” to buy “Char­lotte’s Web” through Har­leysville Books.

“It en­cour­ages kids to read, and it brings the story to life,” said Al­geo of the events that Har­leysville Books and the theater hold.

Dur­ing Satur­day’s event, one of Plumb’s em­ploy­ees read books about barn­yard an­i­mals to the group.

The ac­tors could not do an ex­cerpt from the play be­cause it would vi­o­late the per­for­mance agree­ment the theater made with the play’s pub­lish­ing com­pany, ac­cord­ing to Bill Al­geo, the co­or­di­na­tor of fam­ily theater at DCP. He ex­plained that an agree­ment is made be­tween the theater and pub­lisher, in which the theater states the num­ber of an­tic­i­pated shows — sam­pling just a part of the play for the book­store would have been a vi­o­la­tion.

Com­ing up next at DCP The­atre will be a pro­duc­tion for the adults. The show, “The 39 Steps,” will be on the Main Stage and opens Nov. 2.

Soud­er­ton In­de­pen­dent photo — SU­SAN KEEN

The cast of “Char­lotte’s Web” lis­tens to Me­lanie Bucher dur­ing story hour at Har­leysville Books Sept. 29.

Soud­er­ton In­de­pen­dent photo — SU­SAN KEEN

Ni­cholas Souder high fives Al Benelli as Tem­ple­ton the Rat at Har­leysville Books dur­ing a visit by the cast of “Char­lotte’s Web.”

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