A comic look at life in `Ramona Quimby'

NEIGHBORS

April 23, 2002|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE TREE OF Life Theatre Troupe, in its sixth year, will present the play Ramona Quimby this week and next at Faith Lutheran Church in Eldersburg.

The play is based on a book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, by Beverly Cleary, and tells the story of the lead character's life as a third-grader and the struggles and rewards of family life.

The comedic play looks at real-life experiences, said Beverly Pierce, who is responsible for costumes.

"In the play, the family experiences Dad losing his job, the family dealing with unemployment, and Mom working outside the home for the first time," she said.

The cast of 25 consists mainly of children. Several of the younger children's parts are performed by alternate cast members throughout the six performances, giving them all a chance to perform.

What the troupe may lack in age, it makes up for in experience. Many of the young troupe members have several years' experience in theater and many performances to their credit.

Andrew Maskosky, 13, of Oklahoma Road Middle School, has been involved with Tree of Life since the fourth grade and has performed in five plays.

Greta Stetson, 13, a home-schooler from Randallstown, has been with the troupe for one year and performed in two plays. Before joining the troupe, she performed with the Children's Theater Association and in Pumpkin Theater plays.

Hanna Noel, 13, is performing for the first time with the troupe, but has been in five plays through Mount Airy Players, a community theater group.

John Carriker, 18, a graduate of Liberty High School, has been involved in theater more than 10 years through church and school productions. He said he was "abducted" into the group because no other performer was available to portray his character, Uncle Hobart.

Keith Frampton, who plays the part of Mr. Quimby, is also new to the troupe. He tried out for the play because his daughter Faith, 9, wanted to try out, and was surprised when he landed a major role. Faith will play a classmate of the lead character.

Directors Todd Wells and Scott Fairley also have parts in the play. Both have been involved in theater for many years and enjoy acting and directing, with credits too numerous to list.

Originally formed as a Christian group, the Tree of Life Theatre Troupe gets its name from a biblical verse that says wisdom is the tree of life, and those who embrace wisdom will be happy. All plays produced by the troupe are family-oriented.

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and May 2, 3 and 4 at Faith Lutheran Church. 1700 St. Andrews Way. A one-act play, Uncool, will precede each performances.

Tickets are $5 and $4 for students and seniors. Advance tickets: Clydia Koch, 301-829-0358.

Community yard sale

Sykesville is sponsoring a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 4 at Sykesville Middle School on Springfield Avenue.

Spaces are available on the lot for $10 on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.

Information: 410-549-5330.

Kayak adventure

Piney Run Park Nature Center is holding a kayak tour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday on Piney Run Lake. Each tour will begin with a short lesson for beginners.

Participants will paddle on the lake during sunset and observe birds and wildlife. All participants are asked to take a bag supper.

Two-person kayaks are available. Participants must be able to swim, and should dress for the possibility of getting wet.

Fees are $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers.

Information: 410-795-6043.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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