‘Charlotte’s Web’ on stage March 25, 26 & 27

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charlottesweb12Bethel's spring play "Charlotte's Web" will hit the stage on March 25,26 and 27 in the Everest Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center. The shows on March 25 and 26 will begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be two shows on the 27th, one at 2 and the other at 7:30 that night. Junior Stephen Loewen will play the starring role of Wilbur in the play. Although this is Loewen’s fifth Bethel show, he is excited that it will be one of the best. “Charlotte’s Web” is unique because many of the actors will be portraying animals. Loewen said that the actors will be recognizable as humans, however. “We are people playing animals,” he said. “We act like people. We are usually not going to be on all fours on the ground.” Fern, played by freshman Katie Zook, is the only human who can understand the animals on the farm. When other humans are around, the animal actors will be more “animal-like” in their mannerisms. The show will include some special effects. Charlotte, the spider, played by sophomore Sabrina Hallock, will be able to move not only horizontally, but also vertically with the use of a rented fly system. The actors will also be interacting with the audience during the show. The best part of this show for Loewen is the story. He read “Charlotte’s Web” again before rehearsals started, and said “I fell in love with it all over again.” “It’s about friendship and sacrifice,” said Loewen. “My favorite line of Wilbur’s is when he says ‘Friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world.’” Loewen also spoke about his great chemistry with co-star Hallock as Charlotte. “We only have a few scenes together when it’s just Wilbur and Charlotte, but they are really good scenes,” he said. “I think that she [Hallock] is perfect for the role of Charlotte and she brings something special to the role that I can’t put my finger on. I just love everything she does.” The last scene, he said, “will tug on your heartstrings a little.” The challenge in this play for Loewen was in the development of his character, Wilbur. “It was hard to do background information on Wilbur’s character,” said Loewen. “The show is his story, he was born in the very first part.The story is about a year in Wilbur’s life. It was hard to realistically represent the changes in language and maturity as Wilber grows.” Loewen said the show’s director, Sara Bartlett Farren, was instrumental in helping him focus on character development. Loewen also said he appreciates the cast and said they all get along very well. “A family aspect in the cast is very important,” he said. “I knew everyone before starting the play, and that was helpful.The story of Charlotte’s Web is very close to my heart.It reminds me of how important my friends are to me, and I am excited about bringing that story to others.” “
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