“The Reluctant Dragon” at West Cape May Elementary School

On Wednesday, March 12 at 7:00p.m., meet “The Reluctant Dragon” at the West Cape May Elementary School, 301 Moore St., West Cape May, performed by fifteen students under the direction of East Lynne Theater Company’s artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, assisted by Sally Bingham and Lee O’Connor. The script is based on the Kenneth Grahame classic about a poetry-loving dragon and the youngsters who protect him against the townsfolk, and St. George, the famous dragon slayer.

This in-school theater residency begins on Monday, March 3, with a few acting exercises, reading the script, and everyone writing down what three parts they would like to play. The next day, based on the above information, Stahlhuth assigns roles and rehearsals began. There are meetings with parents and members of the PTA to discuss props and costumes, and with the support of the 5th and 6th grade teacher, Ms. Calabro, students are encouraged to memorize lines and think about their own props and costume needs. There are only seven eighty-minute rehearsals before the show goes up, with lines learned, blocking complete, props in place and costumes done.

This is the seventh year in a row that East Lynne Theater Company has been able to provide this theater residency for West Cape May Elementary School due to funding from New Jersey Theatre Alliances’ (NJTA) “Stages Festival.” NJTA is the statewide consortium of professional theaters in the Garden State, of which ELTC is a proud member. For an up-to-the-minute schedule of “Stages Festival” events throughout March, which includes one of ELTC’s touring shows, “Victorian Magic” in Ocean County, visit www.stagesfestival.org. To learn more about the Alliance, go to www.njtheatrealliance.org.

Admission to “The Reluctant Dragon” is free and open to the public, but donations of paper products for The Food Closet will be gratefully accepted.

For reservations and information about this and other ELTC events, contact the theater by phone at 609-884-5898, e-mail eastlynneco@aol.com, or go to the web site, www.eastlynnetheater.org.

There is still time to sign up for ELTC’s juggling class with James Rana, on Tuesday, March 18 from 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., where the company is in residence. This is free, too, due to funding from NJTA’s “Stages Festival.” ELTC’s popular radio-style production returns to Cape May with “Holmes and Carter Mysteries” on March 14 and 15 at 8:00p.m.

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