The William Carey University Theatre will present “Adventures from Aesop’s Fables,” adapted by Jeanna Graves and Deanna Graves, on December 11-12 at 7 p.m. and December 13 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre.
The play takes 13 of Aesop’s 284 morality stories and presents them for children. Morals include “Honesty is the best policy,” “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” “There are two sides to every story” and “Real friends are faithful in good times and bad.”
Most members of the cast play multiple roles. Actors include Amanda Campbell of Picayune; Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg; Taylor Abbott of Picayune; Billy Burkes of Meridian; Branden Lindsey of Greenville, S.C.; Xavier Martin of Hattiesburg; Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga.; Rebekah Romack of Poplarville; and Ashlyn Watts of Picayune. The actors portray a variety of animal and human characters from Aesop’s tales, including The Tortoise and The Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Grasshopper and The Ants, and The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse.
The production is entirely student designed. “The student designers are mentored by their peers,” said O. L. Quave, director of the play and professor emeritus at WCU. “The students collaborate to bring Aesop’s world to life. The sets, masks, lights and sound create this world as if seen through a child’s eyes.”
Dewey Douglas of the theatre faculty is technical director. Douglas and Tim Matheny, chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication, are faculty mentors for students. Scenic designer is Miranda Rester of Oak Grove. The costume designer is Xavier Martin. Amanda Campbell is lighting designer and the sound designer is Taylor Abbott. Makeup designer is Rebekah Romack. The student designers are mentored by upperclassmen Billy Burkes, Joey Roderick, Chris Permenter of Oak Grove and Ashlyn Watts. Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg is rehearsal assistant.
“Because the actors are playing multiple roles, the use of masks and other elements are important to bringing the animals to life,” said Jeanna Graves. “It’s like watching a pop-up book come to life. We want our audience, especially the children, to have their imaginations inspired.”
The box office opens Monday, December 8 and is open from 1 until 4 p.m. daily. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. Tickets are $5 each.