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October 23, 2014

Artists in Action: Storytellers spin their yarns both on stage and off

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Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:10 am

Yarns spun at different venues are woven into a fabric of entertainment this month. Yes, storytelling — be it on stage by actors or in a tent by the lady who lived it — will bring all sorts of characters and adventures to mind.

On April 11 and 12, Alice Duckett visits the past in her stories during “April in Talladega,” while CAST Kidz shows us how to heed the good and avoid the bad in a musical production of “Alice in Wonderland.” And CAST Theatre announces its next season, September 2014 through May 2015, which will feature even more variety.

CAST announces next season

CAST’s next theater season features two musicals and two plays. The opener is Monty Python’s “Spamalot” in September, “A Christmas Carol” in December, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in February 2015 and “Oklahoma” in late April and May 2015.

Second Stage, a new project that deals with smaller casts and opportunities for learning directors will present “The Complete and Unabridged Life of Shakespeare” in March 2015.

The musical “9 to 5,” which runs April 24-May 4 at McClellan Theatre, completes the current CAST season.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ next Sunday

It will be an hour when the sense of enchantment becomes real for kids and adults. CAST Kidz presents the musical “Alice in Wonderland” April 13 at 4 p.m. at the Foothills Theatre at McClellan with 20 children, all performers in progress, bringing the classic fairy tale about Alice, the White Rabbit, the King and Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat and Tweedledee and Tweedledum into focus. It is directed by Kim Dobbs and Brooke Hunter, with musical direction by Eric Traynor and Scott Whitney. Soloists include Laurellei Veasey and Ramsey Whitney and a duet by Chloe Cater and A.J. Long.

Meet the actors in costume before the show at a Mad Hatters’ Tea, hosted by the young performers’ parents in the building next door to the theater at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the tea are $5 and reservations are encouraged by calling 256-820-CAST. Tickets for the show are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Storytelling on the library lawn

Alice Duckett counts her storytelling as a personal ministry to strengthen families. Her genealogy workbook for children bring households together as family members are called upon to share their knowledge.

Duckett, also a journalist and educator, will entertain all ages in the Storytelling Tent during “April in Talladega,” a free event at the Talladega Public Library. Duckett speaks at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Dressed in Old South attire, she will relate family stories handed down from the 1920s as well as a segment on “Digging from Attics to Basements,” her workbook that shows children the importance and fun in researching their roots. Duckett’s next book to be published is “Sarah’s Angel,” which centers on a little girl preparing to go to the hospital.

The speaker has been delivering programs for eight years — about 50 a year, she says — throughout Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Colorado and Utah.

She is a monthly columnist for Anniston-Gadsden Family Christian Magazine, which is distributed to churches through Etowah and Calhoun counties. The current issue features a cover story by Duckett and Barbara Eubanks of Albertville about their intensive study and recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

“April in Talladega” is also a pilgrimage of sorts, but into the realm of the antebellum South. The annual event includes a tour of historic homes, an antique show, art exhibit, “Ghosts of Talladega” in the cemetery and, new this year, a cooking demonstration by Garfrerick’s Cafe of Oxford. Some events are free, some require tickets. For more information call the Chamber of Commerce at 256-362-9075.

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