JMU Children's Playshop Announces Summer Season

From: Public Affairs

April 23, 2008

HARRISONBURG James Madison University's Children's Playshop is preparing to launch its 16th exciting season of summer theater for patrons of all ages. This year, artistic director William Buck, director Pam Johnson and a cast of talented actors and crew will bring to life three fun-filled shows "The Wind in the Willows," "Rumpelstiltskin" and "The Near-Sighted Knight and the Far-Sighted Dragon."

The season opens with the literary favorite "The Wind in the Willows," dramatized by R. Eugene Jackson. The play follows Toad as he evolves from a wealthy but lazy and reckless lover of speedy sports cars to one who vows to save his family home and his name in the process. Assisted by the loveable characters Badger, Water Rat and Mole, Toad rescues his home from a band of wily weasels and reinstates himself in Toad Hall. "The Wind in the Willows" runs from May 22 through June1.

Next, the Playshop offers the timeless classic "Rumpelstiltskin," with script, music and lyrics by Robert Johanson and Albert Evans. The tale unfolds in the kingdom of Wipple a land without gold. When a crafty miller claims his daughter can weave straw into gold, she is ordered to begin weaving or die. In comes an odd little man, willing to help the miller's daughter in exchange for her first-born child. With the help of a wacky cast of characters, she is finally able to escape the bargain by discovering the man's name. "Rumpelstiltskin" runs from June 12 through June 22.

The Playshop's season closes with the charming musical The Near-Sighted Knight and the Far-Sighted Dragon" by Eleanor and Ray Harder. When a mathematically inclined princess sets off to rescue her father from an evil Duchess, two unlikely heroes a dragon and a knight band together to help her on her quest. Filled with music and laughter, this play turns the typical fairytale upside down and sideways. "The Near-Sighted Knight and the Far-Sighted Dragon" runs from July 10 through July 20.

The JMU Children's Playshop box office opens Wednesday, May 7. Performances run Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. All performances occur in JMU's Theatre II, located next to FedEx Kinko's on South Main Street in Harrisonburg.

All seats are $5.50. Reservations are strongly encouraged, as shows often sell out. Tickets may be ordered by calling the box office at 540-568-7836.

JMU Public Affairs contact: Janet Smith, 540-568-8008 or smithjl@jmu.edu.

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