The Backstage Theatre presents the stage adaptation of E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web,” running today through July 14 at the theater in Breckenridge.
Christopher Willard, artistic director for the Backstage Theatre, directs the production.
“We’ve been wanting to do it for a long time,” Willard said of “Charlotte’s Web.” “I did the show about 23 years ago. … We repertory — we turn one set into another — so we try to flex the same set. We thought that ‘Charlotte’s Web’ would be fun to try to plan in that space.”
The show is running concurrently with “Avenue Q,” an adults-only, Tony Award-winning musical comedy. Most of the set for “Avenue Q” is upstage, meaning the theater can put up a drop and bring some pieces in front of it to create the setting for “Charlotte’s Web.”
“We like the idea of a farm show and a city show sharing the same space,” Willard said. “It’s nice to have both sides of the coin.”
A classic tale
White’s award-winning children’s tale weaves the plotline for the play, a story of unexpected friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider. In an attempt to save Wilbur’s life, Charlotte spins words in her web, hoping to attract visitors to marvel at the pig. The spider’s plan unravels at the county fair, where Wilbur and Charlotte’s fate is made clear.
Willard said it’s the story that makes the production special.
“I love that story and what it tells about the power of friendship and seeing that on stage and having the audience buy into the fact that this actress is a spider,” he said. “It’s a universal story; it’s a classic story that gains with it more power by the immediacy of putting it on stage.”
For children and adults who are fond of the original book, Willard said the theatrical version mirrors it very closely.
“It’s very true — a lot more true than the original cartoon version, which E.B. White despised,” Willard said. “This was a sanctioned adaptation from the White family.”
The production features Genevieve Price as Wilbur, Megan Meek Ramig as Charlotte and Tricia Moreland (making her Backstage debut) as Fern. Playing a host of other characters are Susan Harrison, Jeremy Lefevre, Hannah Overton and Jon Hans. Joseph Robinette, recent Tony award nominee for “A Christmas Story, The Musical,” adapted the stage version of “Charlotte’s Web.”
For more information and tickets, visit www.backstagetheatre.org.