Children’s Theatre spins tale in ‘My Name is Rumpelstiltskin’


DOVER –– The Children’s Theatre Inc., will close its season with “My Name is Rumpelstiltskin,” an adaption of the Grimm fairy tale, Saturday and Sunday at the Schwartz Center for the Arts.

In the play, the title character, Rumpelstiltskin, an ill-tempered wizard, goes on a journey to become the most powerful force in the kingdom by whatever means necessary under the encouragement of Griselda, an evil 400-year-old witch.

Ace Clark, 12, of Dover, plays the lead role in his first performance with the Children’s Theatre.

“I go to school with some kids who act and some of my neighbors do it too so I decided to try it out,” he said. “It’s a fun way to express myself.”

Despite being naturally soft spoken, Ace takes over the stage as Rumpelstiltskin with a loud voice, dramatic gestures and a commanding presence to fully envelop the role of a grumpy old wizard. The Rumpelstiltskin role is topped off with a costume complete with tattered clothes and a thick gray beard.

Ace said he couldn’t be happier about the role and his look in it.

“I love it,” he said. “And I’ve always wanted a beard.”

“For being a first-time actor, it’s amazing how powerful he is on stage,” said student director Kaitlyn Clendaniel. “He’s one of those people who’s shy at first but he’s become part of the family now.”

Kaitlyn also plays the role of Charlotte and has a lot of added responsibility taking the student director role too.

“It can be a little stressful because not only do I need to know my own lines, I need to know everyone else’s lines too,” she said.

She has been able to give input on stage blocking, set design and costume design.

Her costume ideas, mixed with the adult directors’ –– Patrician Parsons-Beetschen and Martia McGinnis –– are brought to life by local artist Ramona Maziarz.

“I’m a pen and ink artist and this is the second play I’ve worked on,” Ms. Maziarz said. “It pays off to be an artist, especially working with the makeup. It’s fun to work with the directors and parents on costumes and see these kids become their characters. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Avery Young plays Laura, the miller’s daughter who is said to spin straw into gold. Rumpelstiltskin sees Laura as his ticket to move up in the kingdom and forces her to the palace where she is ordered to continually spin gold.

“At first she just goes along with it because her family is poor and she’d do pretty much anything to help them,” Avery said.

While the spinning is underway, the king agrees to have Laura married into royalty and to give up her first born to Rumpelstiltskin whose final step in becoming all powerful (as told to him by Griselda) is to obtain a child of royal birth.

“As the play goes on, Laura gets tougher and stands up for herself instead of getting walked all over,” Avery said. “She refuses to be part of the plan.”

Griselda already knows the outcome in Rumpelstiltskin’s quest for power will end in failure because while advising him, she sets him up to fail.

“It’s not a big part but she’s the one behind a lot of his actions,” said Kayla Mercer, 12, portraying Griselda.

“And it’s a fun role because I’ve never played an evil person before, I’m always one of the good guys.”

Rumpelstiltskin’s ultimate fate is revealed in the final scene after his entire plot has unraveled.

The show is set for 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Schwartz Center, 226 S. State St., Dover.

Tickets, at $10, are available at, by calling 678-5152 or at the door.


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