Frog, buffalo, lion join in tale-telling Children get chance to participate in Carroll Players' 'Story Theatre '93'

August 06, 1993|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

What do a frog, a toad, a little boy named Homer, an elephant, a lazy bird, a buffalo and a lion have in common?

They're the main characters in five stories that the Carroll Players will present at the group's second annual children's production, "Story Theatre '93," Aug. 12-14 at Frock's Sunnybrook Farm on Bond Street, Westminster.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. daily, with a matinee at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 14. Shows will begin about one hour after the doors open.

Geared toward children ages 3 to 9, the dinner theater will feature face painting and a hot-dog buffet dinner. Then the Carroll Players will take the stage to tell the story of "Horton Hatches the Egg," "The Buffalo and the Bell," "Pierre," "Piggle" and "Frog and Toad."

"We had always dreamed of doing a children's theater, and last year Mary Lou Grout put it together, and it was wonderful," said Marcia Bogash, a long-time veteran of the Players. "We had over 200 children attend the four shows last year, and they came all dressed and looked like little dolls."

The Players have chosen familiar as well as less-known stories for this year's production. While most probably know the "Frog and Toad" stories and "Horton Hatches the Egg," the other three stories are less familiar.

" 'Piggle' is about a little boy named Homer who has no one to play with, his sisters won't play with him, so he plays with the animals. And one game he learns is piggle," said Marty Hanks, who plays the rabbit in the story. "It's a rhyming game that you can play alone or with others."

"The Buffalo and the Bell" is an Indonesian tale of a foolish man and his wife. When she sends him out to sell their buffalo, he meets three tricksters who convince him the buffalo is really a goat so they don't have to pay so much for it.

"He goes back home, then returns and tricks the tricksters, then he turns out to be a very wise man," said Mrs. Grout, Westminster High School's drama teacher and coordinator for the children's show.

"Pierre" is the story of a little boy who doesn't care about anything until he gets eaten by a lion. When he's spit back out, he learns to care.

The entire show lasts only about an hour and moves very quickly to keep the youngsters' attention, Ms. Bogash said. Scenery is sparse and costumes simple, but colorful and cute.

One difference from an adult dinner theater is that the actors use their scripts for these stories, though most of the lines are memorized.

The actors also try to involve the children in the story, by talking to them instead of to each other.

"I think the theater is an opportunity for the children to participate with the performers and to be a part of the story," Mrs. Grout said. "And I think their imagination should be nurtured. If they see a cap or hat and can transform it into a king, that's incredibly exciting."

The dinner theater also is a chance for families to do something together. Parents and grandparents can enjoy these stories as much as the children do.

The Players will top off the show with a small gift for each child.

Tickets to "Story Theatre '93" are $4 for children and $6.50 for adults by advance sale only.

They may be purchased at Long's Florist in Hampstead and at Finksburg, Dutterer's Florist, The Treat Shoppe and Locust Books, all in Westminster.

2& Information: 876-2220 or 239-3326.

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