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Children’s show debuts Oct. 26

This weekend, the freshman and sophomore Providence Players will present The Enchanted Bookshop, a children’s play performed in the Robinson Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 at the door.

The cast is looking forward to the show, especially the matinee next Monday morning when Deanery school children will attend the special performance. Sophomore Rosie Kempf plays Marge, the bookshop owner and lead character. Rosie said playing the lead is a bit intimidating because so many other actors depend on her getting her lines right, but she’s still enjoying herself.

“It’s a little bit scary, but it’s fun at the same time,” Rosie said.

Sophomore Josh Russell said he shares the same feelings. He plays the character Sherlock Holmes, one of the book characters that come to life when the store is closed, and the role is his first lead. He said it is more challenging to be one of the main characters, but he is relishing it at the same time.

“I enjoy being in the spotlight a little bit and being up there right next to my friends who are also up there in main roles as well.”

For much of the cast, being able to be on stage with their friends and having a common purpose make the experience even more enjoyable.

Sophomore Anna Isler plays Heidi, the storybook character who grew up on the Swiss Alps with her grandfather. Anna was unfamiliar with the tale but is having fun portraying her as “a German girl who hits people with flowers,” she said.

“I get to be crazy on stage, and hang out with my friends,” Anna said.

Sophomore Mara Holifield also was unfamiliar with the story of her character, Pollyanna, but she enjoys portraying her because she is “fun and super peppy,” she said.

Sophomore Kieran Kelly plays Robin Hood and said he likes being in the show because it is a chance “for the sophomores and the freshmen to experience what Providence theatre really is” – and to showcase their talents since most other shows often have lead roles played by older students.

For Kieran, Anna, and Josh, having a lead role in the show has another challenge – rehearsing for a second show at the same time. They are all also in the Musical Theatre Production class, which is staging the musical Honk! Nov. 8-11.

Josh, who also plays Father Swan in Honk!, said he is handling balancing the two shows without any trouble, noting that he does have more spoken lines in The Enchanted Bookshop. Anna, however, said having to learn lines and portray two different characters can be “overwhelming at times, but it’s fun,” especially because she gets to spend more time with her friends.

Kieran agrees.

“It’s a little stressful, but it’s a lot of fun,” Kieran said. “I just really enjoy theatre, and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be being in two shows at once.”

The cast is especially looking forward to the Monday Deanery performance when the audience will be mainly children grades four and under.

“I really like seeing familiar faces from the school where I went (OLPH) or schools I’ve been in and seeing those kids enjoy something that I’m doing,” Josh said.

Anna agrees.

“Playing a character for them is fun because you get to make them happy,” Anna said.

But it’s not just the children who will enjoy it, Mara said.

“It’s good for all audiences because it’s fun,” Mara said. “Little kids will enjoy it but so will the adults.”

Here is a full cast list
Director: Patrick Holifield
Marge – Rosie Kempf
Bombalurina – Sami Mayrose
Mom – Abby Hanlon
Timmy – Jack Kaiser
Robin Hood – Kieran Kelly
Tom Sawyer – Aaron Burke
Sherlock Holmes – Josh Russell
Dorothy – Gillian Evans
Heidi – Anna Isler
Pollyanna – Mara Holifield
Book Fairy – Cai Celestin
Lady in Red – Beth Wimsatt
Fagin – Kayla Badon
Long John Silver – Jacob Russell
Officer Ketchum – Brooklyn Stocksdale
Officer Releasum – Sydney LaMaster
Fingers – Jack Kaiser
Edie (Eddie) – Ryker Williams
Doctor Dolittle – Katie Riggs
Queen of Hearts – Pennelope Trinkle
Toto – Icelynn Richey
Wicked Witch of the West – Sarah Boehm
Hopalong Cassidy – Katelyn Phillips

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