Thirty-two area young people take the stage as Fairmont State University’s Town & Gown Players kick off the summer theatre season with two short family-friendly musicals performed on June 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. and June 5 at 2 p.m. in Wallman Hall Theatre.
The first musical is “The Fabulous Fable Factory” featuring Rebekah James as Monroe, a little boy who wanders accidentally into an abandoned factory where he meets Mr. Aesop, played by Youth Company veteran, Brady Dunn, and an assembly of actors who create fabulous fables. Unfortunately, the machine is missing a very important part: a moral maker.
When Monroe accidentally creates a moral, Mr. Aesop asks Monroe if he can supply the morals for the fables. The troupe then acts out some of the best known of Aesop’s fables including “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse,”“The Tortoise and the Hare” and the “Ant and the Grasshopper.” The cast includes Shannon Yost, Miranda Martin, Ashley Spedding, Christopher Yost, Maddie LaFollette, Gatsby Rider, Sarah Lemley, Franchesca Aloi, Brent Hayes, Sabrina Dahlia and Louis Higgins.
After a brief intermission, audiences will be treated to Disney’s “The Aristocat, Kids,” a short musical based on the Disney movie, “The Aristocats.” Madame’s jealous butler Edgar, played by Leah Michael, cat-naps Duchess (Kailee Latocha) and her Aristokittens and abandons them in the Parisian countryside. Luckily, Thomas O’Malley (Isabella Diserio) and his rag-tag bunch of Alley Cats come to their rescue. The show features the Disney musical favorites “The Aristocats” and “Ev’rybody Wants to be a Cat.” The cast includes Riley Ferguson, Sydney King, Melissa Wood Raeanne Beckner, Mackenzie Tennant, Bryanna Flemming, Jenna Richman, Emilee Latocha, Jessica LaBella, Sinead Tobin, Tyler Giorcelli, Camden Brooks, Erika Gorman, Isabella Bowen, Maggie Retton and Baillie Myers.
Disney’s “The Aristocats, Kids” is directed by Loralee Simpson, a senior theatre major. The music director is Jennifer Stafford, a 2010 music education graduate. “The Fabulous Fable Factory” is directed by Dr. Francene Kirk, with musical direction by Jaime Clegg, a senior theatre major. Jane Ryan, a 2011 graduating senior, is the set designer.
Following the Youth Company production, Town & Gown will continue its summer season with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” on June 17, 18, 19, 23, 24 and 25 in the Wallman Hall Theatre and Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun”on July8, 9, 10, 14, 15 and 16 at Prickett’s Fort State Park. Tickets for all productions are available through the box office at (304) 367-4240.