WESTMINSTER -- Karlye Schnorr laughs as a trio of tigers makes a "mighty tasty snack" of her mother.
"I think it's funny and other kids will, too," said the 10-year-old.
Mrs. Schnorr plays the lead in "Ladies First," the story of a prissy, pushy young lady who insists on being the tigers' first entree, too.
Dressed in off-the-shoulder purple and orange striped tops and berets with ears, the tigers look more comical than ferocious.
Dick Horn plays one of those tigers. Several of his grandchildren will be attending the show and he is not the "least bit worried" that the story will frighten them.
"The scene isn't graphic or scary," he said. "Even the roars are great."
"Ladies First" is one of six "Tales for Tots," which the Carroll Players will perform in the show, aimed at children age 3 to 10, on Friday, Saturday, and July 17 and 18 at Frock's on Bond Street.
"We had several meetings, going over story books and poems, trying to find just the right ones for this play," said Denise Stonesifer, who has been with the acting group for about 15 years. "We wanted to give children a taste of adult dinner theater."
The group even tailored the menu to appeal to a young audience. Frock's will serve fried chicken dinners and top off the evening with ice cream and cake.
Also on the playbill are stories of sibling rivalry, family relationships, baths, dragons and sneetches. In "Sneetches and Other Stories" by Dr. Seuss, Sherry Myers makes her theatrical debut as a a plain-bellied sneetch, spurned by star-bellied friends.
The role runs the gamut of emotions from dejection to delight, she said with a laugh. As she goes in and out of the McBeanmobile, she earns and loses several belly stars until "things really get into a horrible mess."
"I have learned to smile when I don't feel like it and act angry when I am in a good mood," she said. "This is more fun than I thought and it has taught me a lot."
Mary Lou Grout, high school drama teacher, is acting in several segments and passing out cues from the sidelines.
"Everyone is directing; I am coordinating," she said, as the cast worked on the stage for the first time. "The kids will be watching. We should be motivated and upbeat."
For those who haven't played to a juvenile audience before, she offered a few pointers.
"Make sure to project your voices, so you will be heard over the chatter," said Mrs. Grout. "Don't think these children will be sitting here quietly."
Mrs. Grout said the ensemble has been able to keep expenses to a minimum. Nancy and Dick Horn have put together costumes and scenery with bits and pieces.
"We kept things simple so the audience has to use imagination," said Mrs. Horn, who is the "prop woman" and sometime storyteller in the tales. "All we needed for sneetches were collars and bow ties and we made the McBeanmobile from cardboard."
"All the stories are narrated and we have enough props to give the kids the idea," said Mr. Horn, who plays several roles.
The couple said they took on the project as a way to get back into theater. For several years, they had worked together on September Song productions.
"We were partners in scenery," said Mrs. Horn, a free-lance artist. "We can get most backgrounds together from material we have at home."
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and reservations are requested. Tickets are $5 for children age 3 to 10, and $10 for all others. Information: 239-3326 or 876-2220.