The sound of the piper’s tune will lead you to the Mackey Main Stage on November 7 through 10, 2013
The Beck Center for the Arts Youth Theater is celebrating their 65th anniversary this year with the production of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The production will be staged on the Mackey Main Stage on November 7 through 10, 2013. Performance times are 10:00 a.m. for a special student matinee performance on Thursday, November 7, 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8 and 3:00 p.m. for Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10. Tickets are now on sale.
The original story of the Pied Piper appears in the earliest written records of Hamlin (in lower Saxony, Germany) during the Middle Ages where it is stated “it is a hundred years since the children left”. There was also a stained glass window in the church depicting the piper dressed in multicolored clothing with children dressed in white. It is speculated that something catastrophic happened to the children (either disease or accident) and the piper was the symbol for death. The tale was later found in the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Brothers Grimm and Robert Browning. In these versions the rats were added.
In the Beck Center Youth Theater version, this tale has been re-imagined by local writer, producer and Emmy winner Robert Thomas Noll. This modern fairy tale has the “Rat Commander” leading his troops into Hamlin with a mission to scare the people and consume every scrap of food. His plan works so well that the town is in a state of desperation. Enter the Pied Piper who promises to rid the town of rats for a price. The mayor agrees to the price and the Piper leads the rats to the river and death. When it comes time to collect his debt, the piper is refused. He begins to play once more but this time it is the children who follow him.
The production plans to have a cast of 65 Beck Center students ages 6-19 for this family friendly production directed by Russ Stitch who promises lots of mischief and mayhem as the rats bring chaos into the quiet pastoral lives of the citizens of Hamelin.
Also planned for the Youth Theater season is “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit” running December 13-22, 2013, “The Children’s Hour” with the Beck Teen Theater on February 21 to March 2, 2014 and the Wizard of Oz on May 9 through 18, 2014.
“For our anniversary year, I wanted to bring back some familiar titles both classic and contemporary” remarked Associate Director of Theater EducationJonathan Kronenberger. “The plays this season all explore, in either a small or large way, the choices we make as individuals and how those choices affect not only ourselves, but also those around us.”
Tickets are $12 for Adults/Seniors and $10 for Children (18 and under) and may be purchased online at beckcenter.org or by calling 216.521.2540 x10. Tickets for Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit go on sale November 22, 2013. Discounted group rates are available for student matinees and can be scheduled by calling Call Customer Service Manager Rennie Tisdale at 216.521.2450 x28. In a show of support for Beck Youth Theater’s 65th Anniversary Mitchell’s Ice Cream is supplying a “Here’s the Scoop” voucher, valid for a free scoop of ice cream, with each Youth Theater ticket sold this season.
Beck Center is located at 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Free onsite parking is available. This production of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., and is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council.
In its 80th year, Beck Center for the Arts is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers professional theater productions on two stages, arts education programming in dance, music, theater, visual arts, early childhood, and creative arts therapies for individuals with special needs, and free gallery exhibits year-round. For more information about Beck Center, visit beckcenter.org.