Classic Children’s Book Comes to Life with ‘Charlotte’s Web’ - Humboldt State Now

Classic Children’s Book Comes to Life with ‘Charlotte’s Web’

The Theatre, Film and Dance Department at Humboldt State University presents Charlotte’s Web, adapted by Joseph Robinette.

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Cate Hatfield as Wilbur, Isaiah Alexander as Homer Zuckerman, Isabella “Izzy” Ceja as Fern.
The play opens March 2 in the Van Duzer Theatre, and is based on the book of the same title, written in 1952 by E.B. White. It has been named “the best American children’s book of the past two hundred years” by the Children’s Literature Association.

Robinette, working with the advice of White, has retained the delightful plot and all the enchanting characters such as Wilbur, the irresistible young pig who desperately wants to avoid the butcher; Fern, a girl who understands what animals say to each other; Templeton, the gluttonous rat who can occasionally be talked into a good deed; and, most of all, the extraordinary spider, Charlotte, who proves to be “a true friend and a good writer.” Determined to save Wilbur, Charlotte begins her campaign with the miracle of her web in which she writes, “Some pig.” It is the beginning of a victorious campaign, which ultimately ends with the now-safe Wilbur doing what is most important to Charlotte.

The production is directed by HSU Department of Theatre, Film, & Dance faculty member Derek Lane. Lane explains that he was attracted “to both the story and the characters in the play. This is the best-selling children’s paperback of all time and this adaptation to the stage was a great collaboration by the playwright and the author. The life lessons embedded in the story provide a story map to growing up in a world that can sometimes be a little bit scary. We hope that the audience will walk away with the understanding that each of us is ‘radiant’ and ‘terrific’ in our own way. The play reminds us to be humble, to never underestimate small things, that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that true friends are never forgotten. Our production will highlight the simple magic that is all around us – animals that communicate, a spider who is an amazing artist, and folks that help each other out when times are tough. We need a story like Charlotte’s Web right now to remind us to keep a tender heart, to value the unique gifts of others, to open our eyes to the wonder and magic of daily life.” The play is suitable for all ages.

The talented cast of 21 actors is supported by a team of student and faculty designers: scenic design is by Derek Lane, costume design by Corinna Knighten and Veronica Brooks, sound design by Kai Lassen, lighting design by Margarita Liberto, properties design by Valerie Ramirez and Lilliana Plascencia and make-up design by Constance Hill. Heather Karns is choreographer and assistant director. Susan Abbey is Guest Artist vocal coach. Sarina Rodriguez will stage manage the production.

Charlotte’s Web opens March 2 and continues March 3, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Duzer Theatre on campus. Daytime performances will take place on March 3 and 10 at 10 a.m. and on March 4 at 2 p.m. General admission is $10. Students and seniors are $8. Lot parking is free on weekends. For tickets, please call 707-826-3928 or go online at centerarts.humboldt.edu. For more information, call 707-826-3566.