WHEELING - Join Christopher Robin, Pooh, Eeyore and the rest of the gang in Hundred Acre Woods for a very special tale of friendship and growing up as Towngate Children's Theatre continues its season of family entertainment with The House at Pooh Corner, which will be staged Dec. 9-13 at Towngate Theatre in Wheeling.
A.A. Milne's classic story comes to life in this delightful production, which deals with Christopher Robin's impending departure from the Hundred Acre Woods. It seems "they" (meaning the grown-ups) have decided he's ready for "Education," a mysterious and apparently unavoidable phenomenon that besets boys his age. Even the promise of tutoring from Owl--a scholar who "can spell Tuesday oh, so many ways" won't dissuade Christopher's parents.
The situation, needless to say, has Pooh, Piglet and the rest of the gang in quite the dither, and they spend the majority of the play concocting and carrying out plots to keep their boy home.
Pictured is the cast of “The House at Pooh Corner:” front row, Morgan Harris, Shayla Klein, Woody Pond, Paul McKay, Kevin Stryker; second row, Mallory Fischer, Timi Robinson, Stefanie Lemasters and Clare Miller, back row, Zachary Michael.
Oglebay Institute youth theatre director Tim Thompson directs the production and guides his cast into bringing these characters to life.
"Through his stories, A.A. Milne beautifully captures the way a child uses his toys to act out his own perceptions of himself and those around him," Thompson said. "This production stays true to the original story and brings these wonderful characters from the page to the stage."
Towngate's Children's Theatre presents three productions each year with several performances of each show in a professional theatre setting. Titles include classics from children's literature, folktales and fables and newer favorites to both challenge and delight a wide family audience.
"For some of our younger patrons, these shows are their first introductions to live theatre. We strive to entertain and enlighten youngsters from all over the Ohio Valley with our exceptional programming at a very affordable price," Thompson said.
He added that all of the Towngate children's shows include some type of lesson or moral. "This show highlights the importance of education, that running away from a problem is never the right answer and how friends can help each other through difficult times," he said.
Cast members for The House at Pooh Corner are Woody Pond, Paul McKay, Kevin Stryker, Sadie Crow, Timi Robinson, Zachary Michael, Stefanie Lemasters, Clare Miller, Mallory Fischer, Morgan Harris and Shayla Klein.
Children are invited and encouraged to get up close and personal with the cast and take photos after each performance.
Presented in partnership with West Liberty University, The House at Pooh Corner will be staged at Towngate Theatre at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9 11 and 2 p.m Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13. Children ages 10 and under will be admitted for a special price of $10. Adult admission is $12.50. Members of Oglebay Institute receive a discount.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Stifel Fine Arts Center at 304-242-7700. For those buying seats at the door, Towngate's box office opens one hour before all shows and can be reached at 304-233-4257. Advance tickets are recommended; many shows sell out.
Refreshments are available at Towngate Theatre and parking is curbside or in the nearby Center Wheeling Parking Garage. Located at 2118 Market St., Wheeling, Towngate located across the street from St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in the historic Centre Market district of Wheeling.
This program is made possible through the generous support of the members of the Institute as well as with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.
Visit Oglebay Institute on the web at www.oionline.com.