The Tigard High cast and crew will perform two mitinees for 500 elementary school students
by: Jonathan House, HAY-NGING AROUND — Tigard High School drama students Kelsey Reddicks, left, Austin McKee, center, and Julia Golden as the spider Charlotte get into character for the school’s production of “Charlotte’s Web.”

TIGARD - Putting on a children's play like 'Charlotte's Web' requires some talking animals, a healthy understanding of physical humor and a lot of energy.

Tigard High senior Katey Merrick pulled her hand above her head while she described the goose head she'll be wearing in this week's production of 'Charlotte's Web' at the Deb Fennell Auditorium.

'It'll be two feet above my head,' said Merrick, who will be playing the part of, of course, the goose.

And she'll be sure to blend in as the 71 students on the play's cast and crew have worked to transform the auditorium stage into a farm complete with a barn background and hay bales for props.

Senior Alyssa Burns, who plays Edith Zuckerman, raised her arms toward the audience seats and noted, 'I get to run around chasing a pig.'

Well actually 'the pig' is Tigard sophomore Austin McKee, in costume of course.

But the running around was an accurate description. Burns and Merrick both agree that for Tigard High's annual winter children shows, movement and a connection with the audience is key.

'A children's play needs a lot more energy,' Burns said.

And just before dress rehearsals Tuesday, director Todd Hermanson nodded his head in agreement.

'Yes, it's a different audience,' he said. 'Yes, a very different audience.'

Aside from parents and families that will attend to see their sons and daughters perform, the seats at Tigard's auditorium will likely be filled with smiling faces of children. The cast plans to do two children's matinees for 500 elementary students from across the Tigard-Tualatin School District.

The farm-animal characters in the classic children's story 'Charlotte's Web' will be brought to life during four shows at the Tigard High auditorium. The shows will last about 70 minutes. Shows are set for today, March 1, and Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and are $8 for adults and $5 for students, children and seniors.

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