On Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00p.m., enter the mysterious world of "Rip Van Winkle" at the West Cape May Elementary School, 301 Moore St., West Cape May, performed by seventeen students under the direction of East Lynne Theater Company's artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth. The script is based on the short story classic about a man who encounters the ghosts of Captain Henry Hudson and his crew in the hills of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving over one-hundred years ago. One of ELTC's upcoming summer mainstage productions is the world premiere of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" adapted by James Rana from another Irving tale.
This in-school theater residency begins on Monday, March 4, with a few acting exercises, reading the script, and everyone writing down what three parts they would like to play. The next day, based on the above information, Stahlhuth assigns roles and rehearsals began. There are meetings with parents and members of the PTA to discuss props and costumes, and with the support of the 5th and 6th grade teacher, Ms. Calabro, students are encouraged to memorize lines and think about their own props and costume needs. There are only seven eighty-minute rehearsals before the show goes up, with lines learned, blocking complete, props in place and costumes done.
This is the sixth year in a row that East Lynne Theater Company has been able to provide this theater residency for West Cape May Elementary School due to funding from New Jersey Theatre Alliances' (NJTA) "Stages Festival." NJTA is the statewide consortium of professional theaters in the Garden State, of which ELTC is a proud member. For an up-to-the-minute schedule of "Stages Festival" events throughout March, which includes ELTC's shows on the road, "Paul Robeson Through His Words and Music," "Adventure of the Norwood Builder," and "Victorian Magic," visitwww.stagesfestival.org. To learn more about the Alliance, go to www.njtheatrealliance.org.
Admission to "Rip Van Winkle" is free and open to the public, but donations of paper products for The Food Closet will be gratefully accepted.