‘Sally Cotter’ brings magic to Milford

Joceline Thunderbird, played by Jessica Snead, is sorted into a house at the beginning of the show. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

MILFORD — Second Street Players’ Children’s Theater presents a humorous take on the “Harry Potter” series this weekend with its latest production of “Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone.” The show is directed by Guy Crawford and Ashby Amory and is produced by Josh Gross.

When Sally (played by Finn Sheridan) falls asleep while reading books about a certain juvenile wizard, she dreams that she is a student at Frogbull Academy of Sorcery.

There she meets Headmaster Albatross Underdrawers (Bill Walton), Gamekeeper Rueben Ryebread (Brandon Twilley), and Professor Shiftia Shape (Aubrey Edwards). But danger is lurking, and it’s up to Sally and her new friends Dave (Colby Crawford) and Harmonica (Amy Deo) to defeat the schemes of the evil Lord Murderdeath.

Sally Cotter, played by Finn Sheridan, asks a very important question of Professor Albatross Underdrawers, played by Bill Walton, during a scene from their upcoming play.

Will she become the hero like the one in her favorite series? And who is the mysterious Censor who keeps rewriting the story as it goes along?

Finn, of Frankford, is a seventh-grader at Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“I’ve done a lot of shows at Possum Point (in Georgetown), but this is my first show at this theater,” she said.

Second Street Players’ Children’s Theater cast members from “Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone” rehearse a comedic scene.

“In real life, I’m actually a really big fan of ‘Harry Potter.’ My mom, she heard about ‘Sally Cotter’ and it was the first time it was ever being played in the community theater [nearby] and I’m like, ‘Oh wow, this is amazing. I really want to do this.’ So, I came down here and auditioned and the night of the audition got a call back to say I’m Sally Cotter.”

Alexis Waddy, of Frederica, a soon-to-be graduate of Caesar Rodney High School, who is headed to Rutgers University to study acting.

“It’s a lot of fun. Ursa is kind of the Draco Malfoy equivalent,” she said of the “Harry Potter” character.

Students at Frogbull Academy of Sorcery play a game on stage during a scene from Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone.

“It’s always fun to play someone who is very different from yourself. So, to play someone who is not the nicest is very interesting. I just get to play around with it.”

Albatross Underdrawers is played by Bill Walton of Harrington.

“I am having a lot of fun with the role. I get to be a wizard. I love Harry Potter; Professor Dumbledore is one of my favorite characters.

“I’ve been doing children’s theater since 2009. Children’s theater does very well here. To have this accessibility for the kids is so important.

“One of my biggest regrets is not getting involved in the theater until I was in my 40s.

Rivals Ursa and Sally Cotter square off over a game of patty cake during a scene.

“A lot of kids come to us with crippling anxiety. We were doing the Bug & Bud Festival one time and one young lady was cowering in the alcove outside at Georgia House. Two years later, I watched her on television promoting a show she was directing. It’s not just about the accessibility to the arts, but what it does for the kids. That’s what magic is.”

Tonight’s and Saturday’s shows begin at 7 p.m.; the Sunday show begins at 2 p.m.

Anabella Barray and Sammy Passmore, playing Kalseru the Dragon and Neville Shortbottom, test out a prop during a costumed rehearsal of “Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone.”

Tonight’s performance is “pay what you can”/donation night and tickets on Saturday and Sunday are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Riverfront Theatre is at 2 Walnut St., Milford.

For more information, visit www.secondstreetplayers.com.

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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