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'Charlotte's Web' comes to stage

Back Row (from left)- Elizabeth Gonczar, Sarah Kish, Hannah Jenkins, Nathan Ryan, Autumn Ryan, Shane Schwab, Madison Pavliscak, Paige Pavliscak and Jacob Poche. Middle Row (from left)- Morgan McGuire, Anne Cobble, Nathan Muckenhirn, Jessica Kosten (Charlotte), Shane Moore (Wilbur), Chloe Allen (Fern) and Sydni Schwab. Kneeling Rebecca Miller- Zillinko (Templeton). Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
May 09, 2012 - Long before a pig named Babe captured the hearts of movie-going audiences, there was another little porker named Wilbur, who taught everyone the true value of friendship.

Wilbur is one of the main characters in the classic 1952 children's novel "Charlotte's Web," written by E.B. White.

The Oxford Community Theatre is bringing this classic tale to the stage via a play written by Joseph Robinette on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 in the Oxford Middle School commons area. Both performances are scheduled for 7 p.m.

"It's our second show (since forming the theater group) and we wanted to do another family-friendly play," said Director Kelly Brock, of Oxford.

Tickets are $8 for adults 18 and older, while children ages 2-17 are $5 each. Children under age 2 are free. Tickets are available at the Oxford Township Parks and Recreation office at 20 W. Burdick St. For information, call (248) 628-1720 or visit

"Charlotte's Web" is the enchanting story of how lonely little Wilbur (played by Shane Moore) befriends a kindhearted grey spider named Charlotte (played by Jessica Kosten), who lives in a barn on a farm.

Upon learning that the farmer plans to eat Wilbur for Christmas dinner, Charlotte hatches a plan to spins words into her web to make the little pig famous and save his life.

It works and Wilbur goes on to win a prize at the county fair. In the end, Charlotte dies and Wilbur honors her memory by rescuing her eggs, so her children may live on.

"The play really does follow the story, so I think people who've read the book or even seen the (1973) animated movie will enjoy it," Brock said.

Oxford's cast consists of 32 actors and actresses – between main characters, supporting roles and extras – eager for their chance to shine in the spotlight and entertain local audiences.

"We had 87 people audition for about 20 parts," Brock said. "I am just so surprised at the amount of talent that we have in the Oxford-Orion area, especially with our young students. It was very difficult to pick 20 people because a lot of talented people came to audition.

"I kind of wish we had double-casted and did eight or 10 performances, so that more people could have been involved."

Brock urged everyone reading this to come out and see the show. "It's a great way to support the community and the arts," she said. "It's just good, clean, family entertainment."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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