Hayden students play close to home with ‘Charlotte’s Web’ | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden students play close to home with ‘Charlotte’s Web’





Liam Frentress, left, plays the role of Wilbur the pig during a rehearsal of "Charlotte's Web" on Tuesday as he is consoled by Hannah Wilkie, who plays the role of Fern.
Scott Franz

— As he chowed down on sloppy Joes with 22 of his cast mates during a rehearsal of "Charlotte's Web" on Tuesday, Liam Frentress said he was only a little bit nervous about his performance as Wilbur the pig.

"It's going to be a fun experience because you can act, and you don't have to be yourself," the 9-year-old said. "I'll try my hardest up on the stage."

Following last year's performance of "Peter Pan," Hayden's Class Act Productions this week will present E.B. White's classic tale of a spider's quest to save Wilbur from being slaughtered at a county fair.

Director Kathy Deepe said the play will have some added significance to her western Routt County town.

"I think the play embodies a rural town," she said. "It's a classic story about friendship, and this world needs to hear stories about being a true friend and kindness."

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Students in third through 12th grades took to the stage at Hayden Secondary Schools on Tuesday to polish their lines and navigate a full set. They've been working since January to bring the classic tale to life.

Friday's opening performance won't be Millie Delaney's first as a Hayden Tiger. She previously has starred as an Emerald City resident in "The Wizard of Oz" and as an Oompa Loompa in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

"These performances all have been fun," she said during a break from her role as Edith in "Charlotte's Web."

"A lot of people know this story, and so it should be fun for them to see it," Delaney said.

Junior Ashley Otto said starring with younger students is a benefit to all the actors.

"You get to help them and mentor them," she said. "It's also exciting for me to see the kids I worked with in previous plays get lead roles. You really watch them grow."

The students will perform the play as a dress rehearsal in front their classmates Thursday afternoon. "Charlotte's Web" then will premiere to the public at 7 p.m. Friday in the Hayden Secondary Schools auditorium. A second performance will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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