- Southern Arena Theatre at The University of Southern Mississippi
has a special treat in store for children and parents alike when
it presents Lorraine Thompson's children's play "Storyville"
is a medley of favorite children's stories retold and interwoven
to bring fairy tale delight to the faces of children while introducing
them to classic characters like the Little Red Hen and the Gingerbread
today do not have many experiences with fairy tales," Thompson
said. "What children see now are slick stories, and this play
is something very familiar that the parents can share with their
chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Southern Miss, included
this unique play in the SAT season as part of the university's commitment
to serve the surrounding communities in as many ways as possible.
often heard people say that there are not enough theater opportunities
for children in Hattiesburg," Kuhn said. "Our production
of "Storyville" is meant, in part, to address that need."
Beth DeLozier adds that this is a great opportunity for her and
the other student actors as well. "We can explore the stories
from our youth in a theatrical setting and share our interpretations
with the audience," Delozier said. "Theater, after all,
is about communication and sharing with the community.
audience gives us a new and exciting chance to explore the reaction
of our performance by the nuances of the upcoming generation."
Plaia admits that this is his first performance in a children's
show, but happily anticipates the experience. "This kind of
opportunity was never given to me as a child, and I am anxious to
involve the children of the area with something that I love so deeply.
I am proud to be working with such a talented and open cast in bringing
these stories to life."
graduate directing student Andrew Elliott will direct the production.
"The lessons and morals taught in "Storyville" are
pertinent to all, no matter how modern the world or the audience
becomes over the years. It is easy to see these fables as shallow
stories without seeing the application to the world as a whole.
their full richness, one must look further and find the humanism
buried underneath and between the lines. The presentation is, of
course, entertaining, but line by line, life's lessons are there,
fully awake and ready to teach all who listen."
The story of
"Storyville" evolved from necessity. The combination of
a touring troupe in need of a show and a lack of funds prompted
Thompson, who teaches drama classes at Athens Academy in Athens,
Ga., to create the play and bring live theater into her community.
Her school troupe, The Athens Academy Players, debuted her play
in schools and daycare centers around Athens, Ga.
children's play, "Storyville" is intended for all ages,
and Thompson said parents and children alike will enjoy it.
is an excellent introduction to theater for young people,"
Kuhn said. "It retains much of the form and many of the conventions
of telling stories, while adding the element of fun in seeing them
acted out. The balance of narration and enactment creates a sort
of bridge to theater for children."
a bachelor of arts in education from Auburn University, a master
of fine arts in theater from the University of Georgia and has served
as a master teacher for the state theater of Georgia. Her workshop
credits include the Athens Area Association on Young Children, the
Georgia Independent Schools Association, and the Madison County
Grassroots Arts Grant Program. She also is a professional actress,
having played at the Highlands Playhouse, the Southern Appalachian
Repertory Theatre, and The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. Thompson is
a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Educational
will begin at 10 a.m. each day at the Woods Showcase Theatre in
the Theatre and Dance Building. Tickets for "Storyville"
are $4 per person. Call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601)
266-5418 or 800-844-8425 for tickets or order online at www.tickets.usm.edu.
Available tickets also may be purchased at the theater box office
one hour prior to curtain time for each performance. For more information
about the children's production, call the Department of Theatre
and Dance at Southern Miss at (601) 266-4994.