Children's groups team up for Charlotte's Web musical

staff reports

In a new collaboration between local children's arts and entertainment groups, the Children’s Chorus of Greater North Texas, the Art Club Studio, and Theater for Hope will be putting on "Charlotte's Web: The Musical" the weekend of Sept.16.

The performances for the three-days will take place at Hope on Houston located at 901 E. Houston Street in Sherman.

Children's Chorus of Greater North Texas

"This exciting version of Charlotte's Web brings a new dimension to E.B. White's beloved classic," a news release about the performances said. "With music and lyrics by Charles Strouse (Annie, 'Bye, 'Bye Birdie) and book by Joseph Robinette (national award-winning children's playwright), this musical will delight audiences with a score that includes "Eating," Wilbur the pig's humorous yet poignant song about growing up; "Who Says We Can't Be Friends?", an enchanting duet between Wilbur and his new-found companion Charlotte; "Nice to meet you--Welcome to the Zuckerman Barn," featuring all the story's unforgettable animals in a hand-clapping, toe-tapping hoe-down; and "Summer," a haunting, nostalgic chorus number which evokes a time and place from everyone's childhood. This joyous musical offers family audiences a very special experience."

The release also named the cast for the show: Arable family are Avery Tollison as Fern, Nicholas Williams as Avery, Anthony Scheibmeir as the father John, and Logan Shurtleff as the mother Martha the mother. The Zuckerman family will be played by Jude Scheibmeir as Homer and Catie Flood as Edith joined by Colman Scheibmeir as the hired hand Lurvy.

"In the barnyard there are Emie Shaw (Charlotte), Andrea Bryson (Wilbur), Allie Newtown (Goose), Tevan Collins (Gander), Sarah Williams (Old Sheep), Avery Williams (Lamb), and Mattie Scheibmeir (Templeton)," the release said. "Charlotte’s children will be played by Miriam Gunnels, MacKenzie Mullins, and Donovan Sims. Other animals are an Owl and Bat played by Agnes Gunnels and Ella Farris, and the blue-ribbon winning pig, Uncle, played by Brooklyn Holley."

The music is enhanced by a chorus comprised of members of the Children’s Chorus of Greater North Texas and the grads chorus: Brennan Burton, Caleb Crocker, Emma Crocker, Amelia Jackson, Maya Matlock, Molly McCrady, Eric Phillips, Miriam Scheibmeir, Anna Shaw, Emma Sparks, Margaret Whelan, and Heather Winn.

Several people are handling the music for the show.

"Teaching the vocals is CCGNT director Heidi Scheibmeir, accompanied by Claire Dering, Cathy Sauls, and Timothy Jenkins on piano," the release said. "Tom Bryson will conduct a 5-piece band consisting of Timothy Jenkins and Cathy Sauls (piano), Claire Dering (synthesizer), Jacob Williams (guitar/banjo), Chio Nield (string bass), and Justin Lemaster (percussion). Leandra Williams and Webster Crocker lend their talents on choreography and on directing respectively."

There are also many nonperforming volunteers that have helped with the production.

"Costumers for the show include: Shelley Shurtleff, Hannah Horsley, Hisae (Lead), True, and Anna Shaw, Irene Gunnels (Lead), and Logan Shurtleff," the release said. "Lydia Horsley and Sarah Newtown are handling props. Other members of the crew are: Hannah Parker, Amy Walton, Chessica Moon-Burton, and Nikki Crocker."

Performances will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 16-17 and at 2 p.m. Sept. 18. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased starting Monday at http://www.TheaterforHope.com.

The release also said all proceeds will go to help fund further projects for the CCGNT and Theater for Hope.