Charlotte’s Web succeeds
The Ennis Public Theatre’s first children’s production delivered exactly what the packed house wanted and expected: A terrific, humble, radiant pig.
That’s just the plot, though.
It also delivered dozens of inspiring performances, including a strong core of youth actors who hold considerable promise for the future of community theater here.
Alongside the Ennis Public Theatre’s Got Talent production series, that drawing-in of new faces and families into the theater circle is one of the reasons behind the additions to the theater’s repertoire.
Charlotte’s Web, which worked to both expose young greenhorns to the theater and cement established talents in their stage confidence, sold out before the first show, and the reasons are clear to any who see it.
Memorable performances and moments abound, as expected. There are a number of great laughs — and comic timing is a gift developed with age, so that’s even more noteworthy.
To the credit of all, there isn’t a bad apple among the players. A few do merit particular note:
• There was nary a dry eye in the room during the sad exchanges between Lauren Hinson (Wilbur) and Katie Baker (Charlotte). Hinson’s lead role demands a lot from a young actor, and she carries the burden well across from Baker’s Charlotte, a key part that requires sensitivity and considerable talent.
• Fern Arable, played by Kamryn Bowling, showed a pleasant comfort performing in front of a packed house, and the role’s importance in the plot demands that.
• Goose and Gander, played by Mary Lofreddo and Benjamin Erdmann, are a source of much amusement and joy for audience members. Both shoulder the effort of their roles with a smile on their faces, even the demands of speaking in a “goose-like” way.
• Templeton is a particular joy. Without elaborate costuming to aid the imagination, the youthful actors must energize their characters with personality that suggests their animal nature, and Laney Bulmer’s skulking rat is nearly perfect.
• The adults who joined this cast are to be commended. Without singling any out, there was a certain amount of guidance that their age and experience provided to the younger members of the cast that tied those youthful efforts together.
• Cheers are also due to the youthful thespians in less prominent roles, such as the the members of the chorus — Hope Loveless, Cheyenne Horman, Kaylie Prachyl, Nathan Martinez, Allie Bruton and Kasie Spence. Without the efforts of each of the members of the cast, none stand quite so tall.
Charlotte’s Web continues at 2:30 p.m. today, 7 p.m. today and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.