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April 16 2012

Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School Children’s Theater Production

The Miller College Children's Theater Project (CTP) presents Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School, based on the book written and illustrated by Ruth McNally Barshaw of Lansing, Michigan. The book was adapted for stage by Jack Wentworth, a Lakeview High School sophomore, as part of the Miller College Children’s Theater Project script writing competition.

The performance will be held at the Binda Performing Arts Center on Kellogg Community College's campus on Saturday, April 21, 2012, at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Jenny Andrews at (269) 967-1374 or at the door prior to each performance.  Adult tickets are $8.00; students K-12 $4.00; children 5 and under are free. Mr. Zac Thompson of What A Do Theater located on Dickman Road in Battle Creek, is the director of the children’s play production.

The script writing competition was open to students in 9th through 12th grades in school districts throughout Calhoun and Eaton Counties with the understanding that if their script, based on the children’s book New Kid in School was chosen, it would be cast and produced with the help of a local professional theater company.

Jack Wentworth’s love for theater started at the age of six when he played in the Battle Creek Community Theater production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever with his entire family.  He continued acting with the Mary McQuiston Junior Theater, in which some of his roles included “Geppeto” in Pinnochio and the “Beast” in Beauty and the Beast.  Jack now participates on and off the stage in the theater program at Lakeview High School directed by Lane and Ken Gordon.  "This has been an incredible experience to see my work come to life on stage and will help me in future theatrical endeavors.  I've enjoyed working with the children in the cast and Director, Zac Thompson," stated Jack.

The CTP blossomed from the idea and success of the Miller College Children’s Literature Project, a book writing and illustration contest which currently boasts over 1,300 participants in grades 3rd through 6th in public and private school settings in Calhoun and Eaton Counties.

“On the spot sketcher,” as Ruth McNally Barshaw describes herself, agreed to partner with the Project for the 2011/2012 school year.  Mrs. McNally Barshaw is the author and illustrator of the Ellie McDoodle series, including: Have Pen, Will Travel; New Kid in School; Best Friends Fur-Ever; and the latest in the series, Most Valuable Player.

For more information on either the Children’s Theater Project or the Children’s Literature Project, please email Project Director, Jenny Andrews at ude.egellocrellim@jswerdna or call (269) 660-8021, ext. 2921.

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