Entertainment

ITOPA staging Pollyanna in show that opens Dec. 8

 From left to right, Stewart Bell, Dennis Bell and Kira Williams star in the Ingersoll Theatre of the Performing Arts production of Pollyanna, which opens Dec. 8. Show dates include Dec. 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

From left to right, Stewart Bell, Dennis Bell and Kira Williams star in the Ingersoll Theatre of the Performing Arts production of Pollyanna, which opens Dec. 8. Show dates include Dec. 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

As soon as the recently orphaned 11-year-old Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she begins to brighten up everybody’s life.

The “glad game” she plays, of finding a silver lining in every cloud, transforms the sick, the lonely and the plain miserable – until one day something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn’t know how to feel glad about it.

This beautiful, timeless story by Eleanor H. Porter was a bestselling novel in 1913, and is now considered a classic of children’s literature and it is the latest production by Ingersoll Theatre of the Performing Arts.

Lilyane Moyer, who has directed several past productions, has adapted the tale for the ITOPA stage, and is directing as well.

A retired teacher, Moyer loves working with young actors, and the youth-challenged ones, too. She finds Pollyanna’s ability to always to find something to be glad about to be very uplifting.

“We as humans, we get angry or depressed too often, and Pollyanna was always trying to make everyone else’s life a little bit better,” said Moyer, who also quotes from Eleanor H. Porter, “When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.”

There are many characters in Porter’s novel, and Moyer was presented with the challenge of staying true to it, and keeping the play to a reasonable length.

“If I’d incorporated each individual story, the play would have been four hours long,” she said, and would have needed far more than the 23 cast members in this production.

“I’ve stayed really close to the (original) text. It’s an old fashioned story, when kids were still kids, and not growing up too fast.”

Almost half of the talented cast are new to the ITOPA stage. Rehearsals are a lot of fun, and the actors have bonded nicely. They and the crew are working hard to make this an amazing show. Moyer is confident audiences will love the costumes and set that have been fabricated.

Anne Knops, a talented local musician, has created the original score for the show. Pollyanna will make your whole family glad they came.

This play is dedicated to Don Shelton, who brought the “glad game” to all of those who had the privilege of working with him over many years at ITOPA.

Pollyanna opens Friday, Dec. 8, for a limited time only. Tickets are now on sale by calling the box office at 519-485-3070, or at the ITOPA website www.itopa.ca and are $24 each for reserved seating. Show dates and times: Dec. 8, 9, 10*, 14, 15, 16, 17*. Sunday matinees* begin at 2 p.m., and all other performances begin at 7:30 p.m. A hearing assist system is available to ITOPA patrons.