Students revitalize PLU children’s theatre program with production of ‘Charlotte’s Web’
By Zach Powers & Mandi Brady
PLU Marketing & Communications and the School of Arts and Communication
Charlotte’s Web, the timeless story about the unbreakable friendship between an affable pig and a courageous spider, will be produced on stage next week at Pacific Lutheran University.
The student-led production will be performed three times in Eastvold Auditorium: February 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The production will mark a revitalization of a PLU Children’s Theatre program that was well-known in the region in the 1970s and 1980s.
Student/Director Mitchell Helton (’15) says he was inspired to select Charlotte’s Web because of the story it tells. “I like that this story focuses on what it means to be a friend,” he explains. “Charlotte has a line in the show that talks about how being a friend ultimately makes one’s life more meaningful, and I think that is an important message to pass on to children.”
Helton says his Children’s Literature minor has encouraged him to look deeper into the meaning of stories and that he was struck by the thematic depth of Charlotte’s Web. “Most children’s books do not deal with death, and Charlotte’s Web handles it so delicately,” Helton says. “During my studies, I came to the realization that children need an outlet to deal with loss and this story can help with that.”
Helton and his fellow students have invited many local elementary schools to attend private matinee performances of the production and hope that children and parents from local schools that are not already planning on attending will take advantage of the three public performances.
“I think children’s theatre has a very important place in the world of theatre,” says Helton. “It gets children interested in theatre at an early age and allows them to be captivated and inspired and maybe one day influence them to be involved in theatre.”
Tickets are $8 general admission, $5 senior citizen and alumni, $3 PLU community, any student ID, and 18 and under.
Tickets at the door the night of the event (door is cash only).