Players have added a home performance to its 25-performance January
schedule as a treat for the local community.
love – and learn from – Manchester College’s special production of
Magical Faces at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14.
All area children
(and their parents, grandparents and other silly adults) are invited to
Friday’s North Manchester performance in Wampler Auditorium on the MC
Manchester’s theatre troupe
will tickle children with Jan tour
Manchester College’s theatre troupe, The Participation Players, will
take Brian Way’s Magical Faces on the road to Arizona and
northern Indiana elementary schools and libraries during January.
Northern Indiana stops include seven South Bend libraries, and
elementary schools in Warsaw, Wabash, St. Joe, Roanoke, Mentone, Akron
and South Whitley. In the Peoria Unified School District No. 11 in
Glendale, Ariz., the troupe will play Canyon, Desert Palms, Heritage,
Oasis, Paseo Verde, Sky View and Sun Valley elementary schools. The
public is welcome at any of the performances. (The performance schedule
The schedule is a rigorous one for the seven students in Professor Scott
K. Strode’s “Touring Children’s Theatre” class: In Indiana, the students
will perform the 45-minute one-act play 15 times in six days; in
Arizona, the troupe will perform 10 times in seven days. Every other
year during Manchester College’s January Session, Strode takes the
children’s theatre troupe on the road as a class.
Strode has edited and re-written Way’s Magical Faces for
this special tour and has provided teachers with study guides to prepare
the young audience for the performance. Magical Faces deals with
the importance of laughter in our lives, encouraging the youngsters to
believe in and follow their dreams. The Manchester College actors and
their young audience will use imaginary musical instruments and masks in
It is the story of Mrs. Gravity, Miss Grumper and Gloomerous, who have
banished all laughter and smiling from their town. Such levity is
counterproductive and dissuades hard work, they announce. Magical
friends the Ticklelaffs – and their young audiences – work together to
persuade (and trick) them into realizing happiness isn’t all bad.
The Ticklelaffs are juniors Rachel McFadden of North Manchester, Ind.,
and Steven Grubb of Goshen, Ind. Mrs. Gravity is junior Katherine
Keeling of Bakersfield, Calif., and Miss Grumper is junior Brandy
Elliott of Monterey, Ind. Sophomore Jessica Strange of Marion, Ind., is
Gloomerous; junior Erica Hudson of Phoenix, Ariz., is Desire and
sophomore Amanda Hayward of Angola, Ind., is Aspire (young residents of
Way, considered one of the most innovative English-speaking children’s
theatre playwrights, wrote Magical Faces in 1977. The author of
more than 50 plays co-founded London’s Theatre Center. Manchester
College is producing Magical Faces in special arrangement with
Manchester, a Church of the Brethren College, offers 45 areas of study
to 1,045 students from 23 states and 30 countries. For more information
about the college, visit
Canyon Elementary School 9 a.m. Jan. 18
Desert Palms Elementary School 8:15 a.m. & 9:15 a.m. Jan.
Heritage Elementary School 2 p.m. Jan 19
Oasis Elementary School 8:15 a.m. & 9:15 a.m.,
Paseo Verde Elementary School 9 a.m. Jan. 21
Sky View Elementary School 1:45 p.m. Jan. 21
Sun Valley Elementary School 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Northern Indiana performances
Wabash: Metro North Elementary 9 a.m. Jan.
O.J. Neighbors Elementary 1:30 p.m.
South Bend: LaSalle Branch Library
6 p.m. Jan. 10
Francis Branch Library
4:30 p.m., Jan. 11
Main Library 7
p.m., Jan. 11
Centre Twp. Branch Library 6:30 p.m.
River Park Branch Library 4 p.m.
Western Branch Library 6:30 p.m.
Va. Tutt Branch Library 2 p.m.,
Akron: Akron Elementary 9
a.m. Jan. 11
St. Joe: Riverdale Elementary 9:30
a.m. Jan. 12
Roanoke: Roanoke Elementary 1:20 p.m.
Mentone: Mentone Elementary 9 a.m.
South Whitley: South Whitley Elementary 9:30 a.m. Jan.
Warsaw: Madison Elementary 1:35 p.m.