Little Mermaid to headline The Little Playhouse 

The Little Playhouse at Shippensburg University returns this month with two new productions, the latest in a series of successful children’s productions at the playhouse.

playhousefall13The playhouse, sponsored by the Department of Music and Theatre Arts, will present "The Little Mermaid" as a double feature with the company’s new play "The Emperor’s New Clothes."

Two performances will be held Nov. 16 and Nov. 23. Show times are 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in Stewart Hall, recognized by its castle-like exterior.

With the success of the Disney movie, "The Little Mermaid," children may continue their exploration of this popular story at the playhouse. According to actress Mary Smith states, "Children’s theatre is an enchanting escape into the world of our favorite storybook characters. ‘The Little Mermaid’ was one of mine as a child."

"The Little Mermaid" will run with "The Emperor’s New Clothes" which revolves around a very funny emperor with a passion for fashion.

According to Dr. Paul Leitner, professor of music and theatre arts, "These public shows are the final project for a 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."

Senior Haley Garrison said  "It is fun to engage children in a different form of entertainment that both teaches a lesson and provides enjoyment." Early Education major Evan Fishel said that "I am really glad to be a part of something on campus that gives back to the kids. I love seeing the children smile." Sara Landis agrees. "As soon as I entered the Little Theatre for the first time I could feel the positive energy and knew that as a team we would offer a lot of laughter to the kids," she said.

Olivia Straka, who plays one of the swindlers in "The Emperor’s New Clothes," noted "This ensemble is a unique opportunity to get involved with the youth of the community. It will be an unforgettable experience for us all."

According to Director Gretchen Leitner, the playhouse is to "provide wholesome, quality and affordable theatre to children and their families. Exposure to the theatre at a young age promotes a lifelong love and appreciation of the arts. The theatre is for everyone: girls and boys, kings and pirates, avengers and scientists, singers and soccer players and it is also for the young at heart. Bring all your family and friends. Laugh and have fun together."

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