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Children's fairy tale characters come to life from drama camp

By Jonathan King,
Published on Saturday, August 16, 2014

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Camila Escobar is Little Red Riding Hood and Aiden Dyke as the Wolf.
 
 

Submittee

Camila Escobar is Little Red Riding Hood and Aiden Dyke as the Wolf.

 

 



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Allie Dunlap as Cinderella and the Tree ensemble.
 
 
 

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Allie Dunlap as Cinderella and the Tree ensemble.

 

 

 



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Jillian Hindman as Jackie and Bess Bergin as Milky White.
 
 
 

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Jillian Hindman as Jackie and Bess Bergin as Milky White.

 

 

 

“Into the Woods Jr.” brings a host of children’s favorite fairy tale characters to the Cannon Center in Downtown Greer. This play is the culmination of two weeks of drama camp plus five additional rehearsals.

“The kids do everything, from what happens onstage to backstage to set design,” drama teacher JJ Pearson said. “The result is a top notch production . . . they’re obviously very talented kids.”

Indeed, the children have been putting their hearts into roles they love. Camila Escobar said her character, Little Red Riding Hood, “is spoiled and she’s a brat, so it’s a bunch of fun because I get to act a lot.”

Talia Eshenbaugh said of her role as the Witch, “There are some surprises for the audience in store . . . you’re expecting one thing and you end up with a completely different thing.”

Several cast members worked with their siblings. Eshenbaugh had no trouble acting out love and anger with her sisters. A

Allie Dunlap, who plays Cinderella, also has a special connection to two of her fellow actors. “In real life, we’re the triplets,” said Allie. “And then once you get on stage, they’re there too, and it’s a lot of fun to have them as my sisters also in the play.”

More than entertaining the audience, the musical teaches the children important skills and values.

“I’ve learned how to get along better and interact with people,” Dunlap said.

Eshenbaugh said she enjoyed helping the less experienced actors. “There are all these new kids, so I get to show them the ropes.”

Most importantly, the show is an ensemble cast, so every child has an important role.

Tenison Stokes, narrator No. 5, said, “Everybody is important to the show, so without one character, there would be no show.”

Stokes is one of 16 actors who are onstage during the entire performance, which, according to Pearson, is “a tough job to do, and they rocked it.” Stokes received a special honor when she was awarded the Gypsy Robe, which the show’s playbill noted is “Given to the cast member who best depicts the spirit of the theater.”

“This is my fifth year here,” said Stokes. “I’ve always wanted to get that robe, so it was really special to get it this year.”

“Into the Woods Jr.” will be performed next Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23 at 7 p.m. Admission is free and donations are welcomed.

 

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