‘Charlotte’s Web’to spin on Salford stage
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.
The cast of “Charlotte’s Web” listens to Melanie Bucher during story hour at Harleysville Books Sept. 29.
Nicholas Souder high fives Al Benelli as Templeton the Rat at Harleysville Books during a visit by the cast of “Charlotte’s Web.”