by Lenise Willis

Kicking off this weekend is a family-fun play recommended for Pre-K through third grade audiences. The Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem presents The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle, an original musical based on Watty Piper’s enduring children’s classic, on Friday at 10 a.m. and noon, and Saturday at 11 a.m. All performances are at the Arts Council Theatre.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens will host a Heritage Festival Saturday in celebration of Black History Month. The festival, entitled Our Shared History: African American and Native American Roots and Connections, will be a full day of fun activities including African and Native American dance, crafts, music, games, food, demonstrations, displays and more.

The festival lasts from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Events will take place throughout Old Salem. Activities are included with an all-in-one ticket, which are $21 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-16.

Also on Saturday, the City Arts Drama Center Booster Club will hold its annual Gala and Fundraiser from 6-10 p.m. at the Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. The cost is $25 per person. All proceeds will go to support more than 20 Drama Center productions, including the Livestock Players, Greensboro Children’s Theatre and Greene Pictures. The evening will include an original murder mystery comedy, written by a member of the Greensboro Playwrights’ Forum, along with a silent auction, food and a cash bar. The theme of the gala is a “Winter Luau” and attendees are encouraged to wear Hawaiian attire, tropical shirts and grass skirts. To purchase tickets, visit www.TheDramaCenter. com. For more information, call the City Arts Drama Center at 336.335.6426.

Still ongoing is UNCG Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Running through Sunday in Taylor Theatre on campus, the play has been adapted as “cool, hip,” as the characters are set in a futuristic world of high fashion.

NC Shakespeare Festival’s 33 Variations, a new drama, also continues through Sunday at Hanesbrands Theatre. The music-filled drama shifts in time from present-day Germany, to 19th century Vienna.

UNCG Theatre also has several other productions coming soon, including Charlotte’s Web (Feb. 26-March 3) and The Long Christmas Ride Home & Hot ‘N Throbbing (Feb. 28-March 3).