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Little Princess Playhouse stages two tangled tales

SHIPPENSBURG - "Rapunzel" is making her way to the castle of the Little Princess Playhouse this spring, in 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. performances Saturday, April 23, and Saturday, April 30.

Sponsored by the Shippensburg University Department of Music and Theatre Arts, the headlining show is the latest in a series of successful storybook parodies at the children’s theater. "Rapunzel" will be joined by a production of "The Wizard of Oz" for the traditional Little Princess double feature.

In a press release announcing the shows, Director Gretchen Leitner explains the Little Princess community mission: “We provide wholesome and affordable live theater for children, where they can sit within an arm’s reach of the actors. It’s a very intimate space and these humorous parodies of popular children’s stories inspire an interactive environment. Children can feed their imagination and ignite their creativity.”

Dr. Paul Leitner, professor of theatre arts at Shippensburg Univeristy, agrees. “Many of our student actors are studying to be teachers, not Broadway professionals. They are learning how to get up and engage children using theater as the medium. We hope these young teachers will take their theater experience into their classrooms, encouraging their own students to learn to be creative and communicate with others.”

The student actors also agree:

- “This program is vital to introducing young people to the live theater,” said Sam Govan.

- “One of my favorite memories as a child was my first experience with the theater,” said Kosta Kalamaris.

- Katya Luckenbach also focused on that connection, “Seeing plays can kindle a wonderful relationship with the arts that lasts for the rest of their lives.”

- Elizabeth Ramey-Cavanaugh reported her personal joy: “Definitely getting to play a character that the children know and love is a blast.”

- Senior Lauryn King concluded, “Humor is the glue that ties it all together. Parody allows us all to find the laughter. It is the one consistent kernel in all the shows. We want everyone, small or tall, to laugh and have a great time.”

"Rapunzel" and "The Wizard of Oz" will be staged in Stewart Hall on the Shippensburg University campus, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg. Tickets are $4 and will be available at the door; seating is limited. Parking is free and available in the Memorial Auditorium lot, then walk over to Stewart Hall. Look for the pink balloons.

For more information call 717-477-1638.