The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 15, 2013

Ghosts haunt the stage in Red Mask children’s play

Actors to present an Oscar Wilde adaptation

STAFF REPORT
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Red Mask Children’s Theater will present four performances of “The Ghost of Canterville Hall” beginning Friday.

The comedic play begins at 7 p.m. Friday, with shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Kathryn Randolph Theater, 601 N. Vermilion St.

Amanda Coutant directs the 16 young actors in the adaptation of an Oscar Wilde story.

“It takes place in a castle in London,” Coutant said. “A family from Texas moves in after the owner can’t take the hauntings. Then they end up terrorizing the ghost who is trying to terrorize them.”

Work on the play began in early April, with three rehearsals a week. The cast has been busy this week with performances each morning for various school groups. Red Mask invites area schools to attend the special performances. Coutant said the 165-seat theater will be full every day, Monday through Friday.

“If their kids are involved, the schools will come out to support them,” Coutant said.

Despite the haunted theme, Coutant said the play offers plenty of laughs.

“It’s kind of a morbid type of story,” she said, “but it’s geared toward kids. It’s more of a comedy type of show. We had first- and second-graders in this week and they loved it. There’s just so much going on. It’s more lighthearted than spooky.”

Coutant credits her cast with working hard. She should know. She performed in the same play 17 years ago as a 10-year-old.

“This is a real group of troupers,” she said of the current cast. “This is a long week of performances, plus their school work. But it’s just like play for them.”

Coutant said she had contacted other cast members from her performances 17 years ago, and they sent notes of encouragement to the current group.

Tickets for “The Ghost of Canterville Hall” are $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than 12. Reservations can be made by calling 442-5858. Tickets also will be available at the door 30 minutes before curtain.

The cast includes: Andrew Cook as Sir Simon; Alexis Downing as Virginia; Carsen White as Mr. Otis; Bree Morgan as Mrs. Otis; Lucas Downing as Bud; Isabelle Peters as Betsy; Natalie Mills as Mrs. Umney; Ethan Barnes as Cecil; Farrah Anderson as Lady Canterville; Carter Pratt as Lord Canterville; Nelle Smith as Mario; Molly Smith as Magna; Callie Jane Mansfield and Aubrey Whalen as gypsies; and Dominyq Gritten as the knight. Quintin Pratt is the student assistant director.

If you go

“The Ghost of Canterville Hall” will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Kathryn Randolph Theater, 601 N. Vermilion St. Tickets for “The Ghost of Canterville Hall” are $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than 12. Reservations can be made by calling 442-5858. Tickets also will be available at the door 30 minutes before curtain.