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Summer theater students to stage productions

The West Fargo Parks and Recreation Summer Theater Program is staging their annual summer performance with two productions involving two different age levels on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, at Faith Lutheran Church, 127 2nd Ave. E., West Fargo.

"Cinderella Caterpillar" will be presented at 6 p.m., by age 9 through 11 students, while "Crumpled Classics" will utilize the talents of students age 12 through 18 during 7:30 p.m. performance times.

Both plays are sure to be real audience pleasers under the direction of Mike Anderson assisted by Sandi Harris.

"Cinderella Caterpillar" is a savvy spoof turning the age-old love story into a modern-day bug story with a fresh and original twist.  Prince Grasshopper, the top pop idol in Bug City, announces on live TV that he's seeking a princess to share the spotlight with him and his current sidekick, the no-talent Queen Bea. When naïve caterpillar Cinderella shows up in Bug City wanting to be a star and immediately catches Prince's eye, Queen Bea is clearly not happy. She and her cohort Bugsy declare a midnight deadline and do everything possible to shoo Cinderella from the set. Just when it seems Prince and Cinderella have found each other, Queen Bea puts a bug in Cinderella's ear, convincing her she's an "uglybug" and would ruin Prince's career. Ouch! Will Queen Bea's sting get the best of Cinderella? Or will the caterpillar keep inching on toward her dream?

"Crumpled Classics" takes the play-within-a-play to a whole new level. A quirky group of students pull together the school's annual "Classics on Parade," acting out famous stories that they studied in their literature class. The students, however, decide to make the stories relevant to today's audiences, with hilarious results! The authors are surely rolling over in their graves and Ms. Collins is terrified of losing her job, especially when the principal calls the superintendent in the middle of the show. It's a comedy treat sprinkled with outrageous takes on some very familiar characters. Is this that truly "happily ever after" you're expecting? You will just have to find out for yourself!

Anderson said the students look forward to their involvement in this summer program each year, noting the success is directly attributable to those of past years and word of mouth sharing.

He said being part of the productions provide a great "growing" opportunity for the students who always develop new friendships along the way, as well as build new levels of self confidence.

As director, Anderson said his role is very gratifying. "Having a degree and background in theater, it is rewarding to watch the kids grow as actors and take away that self-confidence of performing in front of an audience. For most of these kids this is their first experience with an activity like this and I am always just as excited as they are each year. I think the biggest reward for me are the kids that return year to year, because each year is a new and different experience."

Anderson also emphasizes that "these shows are geared for all ages, so please consider coming out and supporting our program." Ticket prices are $3 for adults and $2 for children aged 6-12, payable at the door with all seats general admission.

For more information about the West Fargo Parks and Recreation Summer Theater Program, please call the Park District office at 701-433-5360.