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‘Curious George’ at State College Community Theatreaims to encourage childhood exploration

by on October 26, 2016 3:05 PM

STATE COLLEGE — The world's most inquisitive monkey will sing, dance, tumble, chatter and generally enchant audiences when State College Community Theatre presents “Curious George: The Golden Meatball” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on two Saturdays, Nov. 5 and 19, at Calvary Church Harvest Fields, 150 Harvest Fields Drive, Boalsburg.

Ethan Palmer, 15, will play the role of George, whose enthusiasm for even the smallest of life's incidents leads to all sorts of adventures.

Philadelphia-based director Shannon Agnew said that Palmer's job "is challenging through the movement and non-linguistic vocalization to embody the profile of a lovable and curious creature."

Since she doesn't plan to put Palmer in a monkey costume, he will have the task of using physicality to portray "how this creature would look interacting with the human world," Agnew said.

She plans to have mats on the stage so that he can do the tumbling, jumping and scampering around that a monkey would do.

The plot moves along with George's friend Chef Pisghetti (Eric Lindquist) enlisting George's help on All-You-Can-Eat-Meatball-Day. George has waited a long time for this day, but he and his friends soon learn that someone has spoiled this festive occasion. It seems that a sly and scheming salesman named Phinneas (Jackson Pavlik) has brought to town the new and menacing Meatball-O-Matic. As the name suggests, the machine mass-produces meatballs in no time.

In the meantime, Chef Pisghetti learns of the Golden Meatball Contest, but knowing about the Meatball-O-Matic, slumps into sadness, convinced that his meatballs could never compete.

"George goes on a mission to help his friend fulfill his dream," Agnew said. She won't reveal the outcome though, and encourages anyone wondering about it to come and see the production.

"It's a very fast-paced script," she said, "with 16 songs within 50 minutes."

Agnew spent 10 years with a children's theater company and feels this play represents early childhood educational theater at its finest. But she also stresses that adults, too, can walk away with insights from this play as well.

"I hope it encourages people to create an atmosphere for children to explore and to want to travel (George flies to Rome), and to teach that the world is wonderful and many people are kind," Agnew said.

This production, like the original “Curious George” books, celebrates friendship, loyalty and the childlike excitement that comes with a curious mind.

Tickets for the show are $8.

 

 

 



Ann is an Arts and Entertainment correspondent for the Gazette.
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