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Good work of CFCC, children's theatre deserves our support


November 17, 2010
If you didn't catch the Peacock Children's Theatre Co.'s presentation of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest" this past weekend at Hillview Christian Church near Marengo, make sure you take in one of the two remaining shows, to be offered Friday and Saturday at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon.

The artistic director, Rita Harden, is a wonderful lady with a passion for both children and theatre. She moved to the English area a few years ago with her husband from New Hampshire, where she was involved with a children's theatre that she started some-30 years ago. Seeing the need for a creative outlet for children in the area, Harden's passions began to stir. She contacted Bonita Embry Coots, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Crawford County, and, long story short, the PCT was formed as a supporting agency of the CFCC.

In February, the PCT offered its debut production, "Charlotte's Web." An excellent first effort, it was well received. While it was a solid A-minus, "Snow White" is an easy A. Perhaps it's because of familiarity as some of the actors also were in the first production, but everything, from the set to the actual production, just flows. Anyone expecting to see the equivalent of a summer camp skit will be disappointed. Harden and her group of volunteers are building a top-notch children's theatre.

It also helps that the cast is laden with talent. Arianna Cox, who was the title character in the first production, is excellent as Maid Dim Witty, and DeAnna Collins superbly hits the right tones in June Walker Rogers' humorous adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Emily Epple is delightful as Snow White, and the seven dwarfs are adorable and, despite being played by some of the youngest members of the cast, are focused and just as professional as the older actors.

The Peacock Children's Theatre, open to young people from throughout Southern Indiana, not just Crawford County, is an asset because it provides them the opportunity to experience something they otherwise might not get to. While all of the high schools have drama departments, more and more elementary schools are cutting music and art programs as finances have become scarcer. Those programs are important because they help young people tap into their creativity.

The CFCC, with about $5 million in assets, is small compared to some of the other foundations throughout the region, which are aided in part by gaming revenues, but its impact has been, and continues to be, significant. Since its founding in 1998, the foundation has provided more than $5.5 million in grant funding and programming to benefit the county and 70-plus partial and full scholarships for high school seniors. In addition, the foundation played a huge role in securing funding that allowed each of the county's five elementary schools to begin full-time kindergarten.

The CFCC, by underwriting the PCT, is continuing its investment in young people. Thanks to the children's theatre, they are getting the chance to try something new while performing in front of large groups. Even if they don't go into acting, it's going to help them when they're older by developing their self-confidence and ability to think creatively.

The CFCC, Harden and the other volunteers are doing good work. They deserve your support. But, most importantly, the kids deserve your support. Go see "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest" this weekend. You will not be disappointed that you did.

*****

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest" will be presented Friday night at 6 and Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for children and can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to either of the performances.

For more information or to purchase advance tickets, contact the CFCC office at 633-2077.

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