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Children’s Theatre and Twin City Stage set 2010-11 seasons

by Mark Burger

Two of the mostvenerable live-theatervenues in the area(and the nation, forthat matter) haveannounced theirupcoming schedules,for the 2010-‘11season.The Children’sTheatre of Winston-Salem, which hasbeen entertaining audiences since 1940,kicks off its season with the TheatreWorksUSA production of EB White’s classic taleCharlotte’s Web (Oct. 1 and 2), inarguablyone of the most beloved children’s stories ofthe 20th century. Next up is the Bright Starproduction of Jack’s Adventure in AmericanHistory (Nov. 19-20), a self-explanatory(and extremely audience-friendly) rompthrough this nation’s history, from the verybeginning until the present day.Just remember, kids, the Declaration ofIndependence was signed in one city andone city only — Philadelphia, Pa. That’s thebirthplace of America. Philadelphia has alot to answer for, because that’s where I wasborn. (There may be a declaration about thatmomentous event, but it’s not quite as wellknown…nor should it be.)The holiday season is always a bigfavorite at the Children’s Theatre ofWinston-Salem, and this year will be noexception, with a special production ofCharles Dickens’ immortal yuletide classicA Christmas Carol, presented by theaward-winning TheatreIV, celebrating its30th year as one of the nation’s premier touringchildren’s theater companies. More than160 years since its original publication, AChristmas Carol is perhaps the definitiveholiday fable. Who among us, of any age,doesn’t know the name “Scrooge”? (In mycase, who hasn’t lived it?)According to Bobby Bodford, the artistic/education director of the Children’s Theatre,this season fully represents the organization’scommitment to providing the finest infamily entertainment to Triad audiences.“We have performers coming from asfar away as Nova Scotia and New YorkCity,” he noted in an official statement,“but we also wanted to showcase someof the South‘s most talented educationaloutreach groups from Asheville, Charlotteand Richmond, Va. as well. We want ouraudiences, no matter how young, to seeexceptional shows performed right in theirown ‘backyard.’ Young minds deserve thevery best and that is what this season is allabout.”Performances will take place at the ArtsCouncil Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive,Winston-Salem). Admission to each show is$8 (general admission), $12 (premium seating,for weekend and evening performancesonly). Discount season-ticket packages arealso available for the season.For ticket reservations or more information(including periodic updates) aboutthe Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem,including its extensive community programs,call 336.725.4531 or visit the officialwebsite: www.childrenstheatrews.org.Not too far away from the Children’sTheatre of Winston-Salem — in fact, onlya few steps away — Twin City Stage hasannounced its 76th season, billed as the“Season of Classic Splendor.”Diversity’s the name of the game for the2010-’11 season, which combines somefamiliar (and friendly) names and a varietyof genres that runs the gamut.From here to there.And back again.For the season opener, the glovesaren’t off but the shoes are: Neil Simon’sBroadway classic Barefoot in the Park setsfoot on stage beginning Sept. 17, under thedirection of Whit Andrews, formerly theexecutive director of Twin City Stage (backwhen it was called the Little Theatre ofWinston-Salem).Long-time Little Theatre/Twin City Stagefavorite Stan Bernstein, a man renownedfor his sense of humor and of the absurd(just talk to him), takes a dip into dramaticwaters with the unforgettable Harper Leemasterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird, adaptedfor the stage by Christopher Sergel, whichopens Oct. 29.The new year kicks off with DavidBottrell and Jessie Jones’ bawdy black comedyDearly Departed, a flaky, funereal satireabout a funeral gone bonkers, directed byGene Johnson and opening in February. Thegears shift again in March with director JimShover’s production of the musical Childrenof Eden, a musical extravaganza based onthe Book of Genesis in the Bible.The season then culminates with the closingproduction, Mitch Albom’s Southernfriedfarce Duck Hunter Shoots Angel,directed by Mark Pirolo (himself a formerexecutive director of the theater, as well asa long-time faculty member at the UNCSASchool of the Arts), which opens fire inMarch.All Twin City performances will be heldin the Arts Council Theatre (see addressabove). Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdaysthrough Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ticketsare $22 (general admission), $20 (seniorcitizens 62 and older), $18 (students withvalid ID). Group rates and season tickets arealso available.For more information about the goings-onat Twin City Stage, call 336.748.0857, ext.201 or visit the official website: www.twincitystage.org.

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