GAC announces kids’ shows

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — Beloved children’s stories will come to life onstage for Gateway Arts Council’s 2015-16 Youth Education Series (YES).

“We decided to go back to the classics,” said Executive Director Ellen Keyes. And performances will be at 7 p.m. so whole families can enjoy them.

On the schedule are “Treasure Island” on Oct. 31, “Elves and the Shoemaker” on Dec. 12 and “Henny Penny” on March 12. All performances will be in Cameo Theatre, 304 S. West Ave.

The plays have been produced by the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, which tours its ArtReach productions throughout the country.

In “Treasure Island,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of pirates, mutiny and long-lost treasure will take the audience on a journey of adventure. They will join cabin boy Jim Hawkins on his incredible travels across the high seas to find the location of Captain Flint’s treasure and find out if he dares to trust the words of the Hispaniolas’s cook, the one-legged Long John Silver. Trust and friendship win the day.

Based on a story by the Brothers Grimm, “Elves and the Shoemaker” recounts the story of a kindly shoemaker who gives his only remaining pair of shoes to a cold and hungry beggar woman. He finds his good deed rewarded in very unexpected ways. The shoemaker is shocked by the appearance of magic elves who turn his simple shoe shop into a great success, thrilling customers with their special creations. Soon the Queen hears of this unique shoe shop. But by the time she does, the elves are gone. It’s up to the shoemaker to impress her without their magic help. The production will remind the audience that where goodness, generosity and hope are found, anything is possible.

“Henny Penny” is based on a folktale. The title character is a hen enjoying a day gathering acorns. When one hits her on the head, she is convinced that the sky is falling. Henny Penny feels it is her duty to tell the king. Along the way she meets some of her friends and asks them to join her on her heroic quest. When almost to the palace, this gang of do-gooders meets the sly Foxy Loxy. The cunning of Foxy Loxy and Henny Penny’s can-do attitude make this an adventure with a strong message of self-confidence, teamwork and friendship.

The popular YES series tickets will go on sale Sept. 1. Season tickets, for all three performances, will cost $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets for single performances will cost $6 for adults and $4 for children. They will be available at the arts council office, 216 N. Miami Ave., at Ron & Nita’s on the courtsquare and by phone at 498-2787.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.