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Wed, June 19

New theater group puts a spin on a classic fairy tale

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Claire Barrett plays the Teapot in “True Love... A Wolf’s Tale.”

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier Claire Barrett plays the Teapot in “True Love... A Wolf’s Tale.”

PRESCOTT - TLC Family Theater takes its name seriously. Families, friends and mentors comprise every aspect of the new theater group.

"It's all about the kids," said Tamee Niekamp, who wrote the script with Lisa Zarchnzy for the group's first performance. "They helped with the costumes, the props, you name it."

"True Love ... A Wolf's Tale" plays at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at the Boys & Girls Club, 335 E. Aubrey St., in Prescott. Tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for children and free for children 3 years old and younger. Tickets are sold at the door or in advance by calling 445-0455.

"The play teaches about love and how it is all around us and not to judge a book by its cover," Niekamp explained during a recent rehearsal.

Although the play centers on Little Red Riding Hood (played by Cami Corkery) and a Wolf (played by Grace Barrett,) in a twist of the original tale, Red and Wolf are friends.

"They go through town and meet many people along the way in search of true love, only to find out that true love is closer than they might think," Niekamp said. The play includes singing and dancing plants and animals, princesses, teacups and teapots, wizards, witches and a fairy godmother.

"I play a deer and a fish," said Shae Champlin, 7, who makes her stage debut in the play. "I just like it. It's fun."

Demi Corkery previously acted in six plays, and her inexperienced colleagues consider her one of the stage "veterans."

"I like being someone different for a little while," said Corkery, who plays Princess Snow. "And I like wearing the dresses."

Niekamp helped with performances at Sacred Heart Catholic Church but wanted to open TLC so that community members could experience the children's performances.

"The children have been practicing on Saturdays for about two months, and all 23 of them come from different schools and backgrounds," she said. "We have three children who are homeschooled."

MATForce donated $250 to TLC and Sacred Heart donated $500 to help the group get started. Performing arts supporter Clyde Neville of Lonesome Valley Playhouse mentored Niekamp and other adults about starting a theater group.

"What sets us a little apart from other groups is that the children have a lot of input in the play and some of their lines," Niekamp said.

"I like hanging out with friends and meeting new people," said Niekamp's daughter, Alexes, 13. "It's also fun to help write plays."

After each performance, TLC members offer dessert and beverages to the audience.


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