Taber Timmons, left, portrays Dorothy while Keara Gilligan portrays Glinda.  

Wizard of Oz headlines Little Princess Playhouse playbill

The Little Princess Playhouse at Shippensburg University will present a special double feature presentation highlighted by a performance of The Wizard of Oz. 

The playhouse, sponsored by the Department of Music and Theatre Arts, will present The Wizard of Oz with Sleeping Beauty and the Pirate Prince. The double feature will be presented at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on April 27 and May 4. 

The performances are in Stewart Hall, recognized by its castle-like exterior presenting a perfect location for children’s theatre.  

According to Paul Leitner playhouse artistic director, “These public shows are the final project for our university class, “Creating Children’s Theatre.” The students in the shows are not majoring in theatre. Many of them are education majors. It is a wonderful opportunity for these soon-to-be teachers to get up in front of an audience full of kids and have a blast.”  

The student performers agree. “We make a positive impact on a child’s life,” said first-year student Seth Baker. Michelle Phillipson said that the class has reignited her love of theatre. Katie Coutts, an early education major who sees the benefit, said, “I am anxious to learn how to channel children’s energy through my own creative experiences in the theatre.”  

According to Sam Gutshall, “I enjoy working with creative people and making some great friendships, but it’s the children who benefit most. Live theater jump starts their creativity. That’s key.” For Mitchel Bamberger, who plays the Scarecrow, “This is a chance to inspire the next wave of young actors and actresses.”

Director Gretchen Leitner noted that “Training even the youngest, most inexperienced actors and actresses has become a continuation of our mission. This summer children may sign up for our acting camp which will introduce and connect young people to theatre.”  

Brochures for the Acting and Theatre Arts Camp are available through the Camps and Conferences Office at Shippensburg University and will be available at the playhouse this spring. Taber Timmons, who plays Dorothy and will be a camp counselor, added, “Little Princess offers a tremendous outreach for our community.”  

Tickets for the double feature are $4 and will be available at the door. Seating is limited. Parking is free and available in the nearby Memorial Auditorium lot. For more information, call 477-1638.