KIDS' PLAYS THE THING AT SUMMER PLAYSHOP SHOWS
HARRISONBURG — Since its inception in 1994, the Children's Playshop at James Madison University has become a summer tradition for family audiences to fill JMU's Theater II and its special kid-size seats to watch fairy tales and well-known works of children's literature unfold before their eyes.
For this summer's schedule, Children's Playshop Director Bill Buck selected three stories representing different eras and styles of children's literature.
Kicking off the Playshop season, Harry Allard and James Marshall's book, "Miss Nelson is Missing!" comes to life May 23 through June 1. The kids in Miss Nelson's class take their teacher's good nature for granted until she suddenly disappears one day and a strict substitute takes her place. Determined to get their beloved teacher back, the kids learn a little something about the golden rule in the process. The story was adapted for the stage by Joan Cushing, who also wrote the music and lyrics that help tell the tale.
The season continues June 13-22 with the classic E.B. White story, "Stuart Little," about an independent-minded mouse and his adventures at home and on the road. Fans of the book will be happy to know that Joseph Robinette's charming stage adaptation is faithful to White's original work.
The season closes with a modern twist on an age-old tale, "Jacky's Magical Beanstalk," July 11-20. With the help of some magic beans, a beanstalk and an unusual giant, children will learn that bullies never win and the pure of heart can never lose.
Children's Playshop performances will be Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30, with Saturday matinees at 11 a.m. and, added this year, Sunday matinees May 26, June 16 and July 14 at 3 p.m. All performances are in JMU's Theater II building on South Main Street next to Kinko's. The box office will open May 8.
Tickets are $5; reservations are recommended as shows are often sold out. Information and reservations are available by calling (540) 568-7836.