‘Charlotte’s Web’ spins tale at Caesar Rodney High

From left, Ryan Limbaugh and Davis Mickenzie play John Martha Arable; Olivia Lindquist is their daughter Fern and David Ransdell is Wilbur the pig in the Caesar Rodney High School Stage Crew and Thespians’ production of “Charlotte’s Web.” The play, which started Thursday night, continues Friday night and Saturday at the Camden School. (Special to the Delaware State News photos/Ariane Mueller)

CAMDEN — The classic children’s tale “Charlotte’s Web” takes the stage this weekend courtesy of The Caesar Rodney High School Stage Crew and Thespians.

“We’ve never done this show before and I’d been wanting to do it for a long time but just hadn’t come across the right script,” said director John Muller.

“But when I came across this script, everything came to life when I read through it.”

Known as a tale read primarily during elementary years, Mr. Muller knew it would be a great opportunity for younger kids to come enjoy theater with a tried and true story but the high school students took a little convincing but came around as they learned more about this production.

Emma Hardy is Charlotte the spider in the play. In this production, no actors are donning piglet or spider costumes – all are dressed as humans but with subtle nods to their characters.

For starters, no actors are donning piglet or spider costumes – all are dressed as humans but with subtle nods to their characters, like pink bowties and shoes for Wilbur the pig while Charlotte the spider dresses in all black.

“Once the actors realized this wasn’t going to be a cheesy kids’ production, they started to look not only in their characters in a different way, but the story itself in a new way,” Mr. Muller said.

“Although the characters are animals, they have human traits and personalities and the message becomes more apparent. It’s about what it means to be a good person and do the right thing not only for yourself but for others as well.”

From left, Fiona Mitchell is Goose, Emily Ratliff is Gander, David Ransdell is Wilbur, Olivia Lindquist is Fern Arable and Amy Deo is Sheep in Caesar Rodney High School’s telling of E.B. White’s classic children’s tale “Charlotte’s Web.”

Like all Caesar Rodney performances, everything from the set to the costumes to the lighting is designed and executed by the students.

“Our shows are all about showing what the students are capable of doing. We are only here to help them and I think they did a great job, as always. You see the set and it’s exactly what you had pictured when reading the book,” Mr. Muller said.

In all, approximately 30 students are involved in the production

Performing a play based on a children’s book, in this case by E.B. White, turned this play into something bigger than just a performance. The cast and crew reflected on their favorite books growing up and began working on a display that now sits in the lobby of the high school.

Chorus members, are from left, Haydee Byars-Weiser, Aryn Caswell and Savana Clements.

Each of the students chose a specific favorite book to post along with their photo and chose a teacher who inspired them growing up and the teachers did the same.

“I think it’s an interesting way to show how books and stories connect us all and that even though books may not be paper that you hold in your hand anymore, they are so much more powerful than the blurbs and snippets we are so used to just glancing over on our phones,” Mr. Muller said.

“Charlotte’s Web,” which started Thursday night, takes the stage again at the Camden school Friday night at 7 and Saturday at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $3–$10 and available at the door or at crscat.org.

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