‘Charlotte’s Web’ features local performers

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

When the children’s classic “Charlotte’s Web” comes to the Turnage Theater this weekend, the audience may spot several familiar faces among the characters.
Leading the cast is McKenna Cox, in the role of Fern. A 2007 graduate of Washington High School, Cox is a professional acting and musical theater major in East Carolina University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
“Charlotte’s Web” is the latest in a series of children’s productions staged by ECU’s Storybook Theatre.
“I am so honored to be a part of this show. The book was definitely a childhood favorite of mine and is a constant reminder of my grandmother,” said Cox, the daughter of Charles and Janet Cox. “My character is Fern, the young girl who saves Wilbur. I was able to draw inspiration for my character from my grandmother, since she grew up living on the farm. It really is a wonderful show. Not only will the children enjoy it and find it completely hilarious, but the adults will get a lot out of it, too. From dancing farm animals to never-ending friendships, this is an all-around entertaining show that I hope everyone can come out and see.”
Joining Cox are several young Washington thespians, most of whom have appeared in previous Storybook Theatre productions. In the roles of spiders and goslings this time around are Grace Berry, daughter of Todd and Laura Berry; Mary Michael Bilbro, daughter of Michael and Bridget Bilbro; Emily Manning, daughter of Charlie and Lesleigh Manning; Grace Paszt, daughter of E.J. and Sarah Paszt; and Elisa Wilkins, daughter of Jay and Lisa Wilkins. Joining them for this show is Grace Crane, daughter of Michael Crane of Greenville and Tara Crane of Winterville.
Among those pulling the show together “behind the scenes” are Washington residents Patch Clark, Storybook Theatre’s director; Janet Cox, local dance teacher and choreographer; and Bridget Bilbro, who designed the children’s costumes.
The musical will be staged at the Turnage Theater in Washington Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. As of Monday, a very limited number of seats were still available. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children; for availability, call the Turnage box office at 252-975-1191 or visit turnagetheater.com.
“Charlotte’s Web,” featuring the same cast as the Washington show, will also be presented Friday at Wright Auditorium on the campus of ECU beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets for that performance are $9 for adults and $6 for children and can be purchased by calling 252-328-4788, between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., or online at www.ecuarts.com.
A theatre workshop featuring the show’s director and several cast members will be held in the lobby immediately following the Turnage show. The workshop is open to children ages 6 to 10.