The Westerville North Theatre Department this week is presenting its first children's theater show, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Showtimes are set for 7 p.m. today and Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16-18.
The play is not just the 1938 Disney movie performed on stage, but rather it is a comedic interpretation of the well known fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, said director Kim Mollohan.
The show was adapted by William Goldsmith, artistic director of Columbus Children's Theatre and Mollohan.
"Bill and I are great friends. Originally, the script was written for a touring group of four, but he gave me permission to rewrite the script to expand the cast up to 12," Mollohan said.
The show does include many of the original characters; however, the dwarfs' names have been changed to avoid Disney copyright infringement.
For example, instead of Doc, Happy and Dopey the audience will meet "Bo-Bo," "Be-Be," and "Tu-Tu."
In some scenes, the students "break the fourth wall" by directly interacting with the audience or breaking out of character.
"It's a nice deviation from previous plays we've done and this way, each show is different every night," said senior Sarah Bright, who plays Snow White.
In one scene, characters start to sing a song from the Disney movie but senior Dalton Reyburn, who plays Bo-Bo the dwarf, interrupts the song and tells them they are violating Disney copyright laws.
Since the show is North's first children's show, the actors needed to learn how to perform for younger audiences.
"With children, everything needs to be constantly fun and more animated in order to hold their attention," said senior Emma Dumford, who plays the dwarf Be-Be. "We are incorporating a lot of audience participation, kind of like in Dora the Explorer, where every time we say the word 'forest,' the audience makes bird noises."
Audience members even will have the opportunity to participate on stage, if they are lucky enough to be selected to star in the role of the "handsome prince."
The previous theater production at North, Hello Dolly!, ended in mid March, and with state testing and spring break, the cast found it challenging to pull together a new show so quickly.
"We had a lot of long nights of rehearsals, like sometimes where we would stay until 9 p.m. and we had to do most of the memorization on our own," Bright said.
Mollohan said the show is fun for the whole family and great for all ages.
"It's a really funny show. During our first read-through of the script, the cast was constantly laughing," she said. "I think fans of the Snow White story will appreciate our modern take on the classic."
As an added bonus, a "Dine with the Dwarfs" will take place on Saturday before the 2 p.m. matinee.
"This is a great opportunity to get to know the dwarfs," said Mollohan.
The cost of "Dine with the Dwarfs" is $5 per person, which includes lunch and photo opportunities before the show. Reserve your seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, April 16.
For Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs general admission tickets are $6. For additional ticket information, contact: birtchea@westerville. k12.oh.us.