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Something for the kids and something for the grown-ups, both on stage in Winston-Salem

by Mark Burger

The Children’s Theatre of Winston- Salem will close out its 2009-’10 season with its presentation of If You Give a Pig a Pancake & Other Story Books this Saturday in the Arts Council Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem).

This bubbly musical revue for all ages, produced by the award-winning, New York-based TheatreWorksUSA, is an adaptation of such popular children’s books as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores, How I Became a Pirate, Diary of a Worm, Lilly’s Big Day, Paperbag Princess and, of course, If You Give a Pig a Pancake — to name a few.

Each story approaches universal issues that impart lessons of friendship, cooperation and community to the audience — although in a fun and humorous way.

Showtime is 11 a.m. Tickets are $8 (general admission) and $12 (premium seating), and reservations are strongly suggested. The Friday performances of this show are long sold out.

For tickets or more information, call 336.725.4531 or visit the official Children’s Theatre website: www.childrenstheatrews.org

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The UNC School of the Arts School of Drama’s production of Anne Devlin’s intense, intimate Irish drama After Easter will open this week in the Patrons Theatre, located in Performance Place on the UNC School of the Arts main campus (1533 S. Main St., Winston- Salem).

The play is set in Northern Ireland just before Easter in 1994, a time when political and religious unrest in the region was (once again) reaching a fever pitch. For one family, which has essentially turned its back on its culture and tradition, the unrest becomes unbearable when the oldest daughter, Greta (played by Cemre Ebuzziya), who has for- saken her faith in religion and her country, begins experiencing tortured — and torturous — religious visions.

The other members of Greta’s family are forced not only to confront her situation, but also their own prejudices and the inner pain of their family as a whole. One thing is certain: This is an Easter that no one in the family will ever forget.

First presented in 1994, After Easter won the Lloyds Playwright of the Year award for Devlin, who was herself born and raised in Belfast. This production is being directed by faculty member Caroline Kava and is a Studio III (junior class) presentation.

The versatile Kava, who joined the School of Drama faculty a few years ago, is a noted teacher of acting and directing, as well as a prolific actress and stage director. Her many film credits include Oliver Stone’s Oscarwinning 1989 adaptation of Born on the Fourth of July, in which she played the mother of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise); as Mickey Rourke’s ill-fated wife in Michael Cimino’s 1985 adaptation of Year of the Dragon; the critically acclaimed HBO drama “Act of Vengeance” (1984), in which she played the daughter of Charles Bronson and Ellen Burstyn; and numerous television appearances, including a recurring role in a series of CBS mysteries, including 1988’s “Internal Affairs” and 1990’s “Murder in Black and White,” which starred Richard Crenna as New York cop Frank Janek. (When I once interviewed Kava, I had to ask her about working with Crenna. She had only nice things to say about him.)

Kava’s first screen role, for you trivia buffs out there, was as an unfortunate immigrant in Cimino’s infamous Heaven’s Gate (1980), at the end of which she blows her head off. (If you’ve seen the film, and managed to get all the way through it, you may have felt the same way.)

In addition to her duties at the School of Drama, Kava has also begun to establish herself behind the camera, having directed two short films: Polio Water and the award-winning Number One.

After Easter will run through Sunday. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 (general admission) and $10 (students and seniors). For tickets or more information, call 336.721.1945 or see www.uncsa.edu/performances.

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