Davidson Community Players, a nonprofit community theater, has partnered with Davidson College to pay tribute to longtime professor Rupert Barber with a production of “Jack and the Beanstalk.”Barber, who died in 2006, helped found the youth portion of the Davidson Community Players, the Connie Company, giving children the chance to explore the art of theater and drama. Matt Merrell, executive director of the Davidson Community Players, said this version of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” written by Barber, is the group’s annual tribute to him, which takes place each January. Merrell said Davidson College and the student volunteers have been instrumental in the production, helping with backstage work, designs, developing the sets and the costumes. “The college gives us a lot of support to help us with the show,” Merrell said. This show, Merrell said, is a wonderful collaboration between Davidson College and Davidson Community Players. With seven performances in three days, Merrell said the work that goes into this show is very compressed into a small time-frame compared to other shows. The work for this production is done in two weeks, when a normal production takes up to six weeks.Merrell said the programs draw people from all over the region. “We have a very vibrant youth program,” Merrell said. “Most people want to live in a place with a vibrant arts community.“This is a wonderful opportunity for patrons to see a youth show in a different environment,” Merrill said. “Arts can lift people’s souls, can entertain and be thought-provoking and really touch people in an emotional way.” Annie Wadman, producer and lecturer in the theater department at Davidson College, said the best part of the production is that the audience can feel Barber’s love of people and his love for his community through the writing. “His sweet, funny personality really shines through in this work,” Wadman said. Barber’s work is valuable to the Charlotte region and to the local community theater, Wadman said. “People in the community are extremely fond of his work.” “We get from theater what we can’t get from other arts. There are immediacy and an intimacy that you can’t experience anywhere else,” Wadman said. “Giving yourself the opportunity to experience other people’s stories enriches your life so much more than imitations.”This production is sure to entertain, Wadman said, as it is directed by a new team and will include a new twist on a show that’s been done many times.
Monday, Jan. 21, 2013
College, theater partner on ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’
Play honors longtime Davidson professor
Davidson Community Players and Davidson College have teamed to produce "Jack and the Beanstalk." From left are cast members Alex Baggott, Morgan Spencer and Ariel Ley. COURTESY OF HOLT HATHAWAY
Want to go? “Jack and the Beanstalk” will be performed 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25; 10:30 a.m., 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Jan. 26; and 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Barber Theatre on the Davidson College campus. Tickets are $7. For information or to order tickets, go to www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org or call the box office 704-892-7953. A portion of the proceeds go to the Constance Welsh Memorial Scholarship for graduate study in children’s theater and the Rupert T. Barber Jr. Scholarship in Theatre at Davidson College.
Rachel Daniels is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Rachel? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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