From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


The Participation Players have added a home performance to its 25-performance January schedule as a treat for the local community.

     Children will 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 campus.

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 is below.)

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 the performance.

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 the town).

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 Baker’s Plays.

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

Arizona performances

Canyon Elementary School                        9 a.m. Jan. 18

Desert Palms Elementary School                8:15 a.m. & 9:15 a.m. Jan. 19

Heritage Elementary School                       2 p.m. Jan 19

Oasis Elementary School                           8:15 a.m. & 9:15 a.m., Jan. 20

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. Jan. 24

Northern Indiana performances

Wabash:              Metro North Elementary           9 a.m. Jan. 10

                             O.J. Neighbors Elementary       1:30 p.m. Jan. 10

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. Jan. 12

                             River Park Branch Library        4 p.m. Jan. 13

                             Western Branch Library            6:30 p.m. Jan. 13

                             Va. Tutt Branch Library            2 p.m., Jan. 15

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. Jan. 12

Mentone:            Mentone Elementary                 9 a.m. Jan. 13

South Whitley:    South Whitley Elementary         9:30 a.m. Jan. 14

Warsaw:              Madison Elementary                 1:35 p.m. Jan. 14

Manchester Media Relations

News Releases

Mission Statement