The classic children’s novel Charlotte’s Web will be brought to the stage in Airdrie May 23 to 25, when the Nose Creek Players (NCP) presents its annual spring production at the Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT).
“We wanted to choose something that would resonate with families,” said NCP president Robin McKittrick. “[Charlotte’s Web] is a classic piece of children’s literature and was named as one of the best American children’s books in the past 200 years.”
E.B. White's 1952 novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur, who develops a friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte.
When Wilbur learns he is being raised for slaughter, Charlotte hatches a plan to save him by spinning messages that praise the pig into her webs. The farmer sees the woven messages and, believing it to be a miracle, opts to keep the pig and turns the barn into a tourist attraction.
McKittrick said NCP’s production will not deviate from the original story.
“We wanted to put on a story that would bring young people,” he said. “I think that’s really how we look at sustaining NCP and promoting theatre arts in our city – by having engaging theatre for young people, so that they’re interested in theatre and leave the theatre having seen a good story, while perhaps [discovering] a new interest or passion.”
Haley Day is directing the play, while Garry Buzzard will act as assistant director. The play will feature adult actors, starring Taylor Amanda Burton in the role of Wilbur and Emma Secord as Charlotte.
McKittrick said some of the cast members, including Secord, are former or current teachers.
“Anne Mulders is playing the goose,” he said. “She’s an icon of Airdrie theatre, having been involved for many years. She was also a teacher for 30 years, and she told this story in her classroom numerous times. Now, she gets to tell it from the stage.”
Performances will be held May 23 and 24 at 6:30 p.m., with a double-header May 25 at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m.
McKittrick said the cast will be hard at work in rehearsals until then, fine-tuning scenes to ensure the production is top-notch by opening night.
“What [audiences] should expect is an engaging performance by some very passionate and committed community actors,” he said. “The opportunity is for them to laugh together, maybe shed a tear together, and we’re hoping to provoke a conversation. It’s a classic tale.”
Tickets will also be available at the door, McKittrick added, if shows are not already sold out.