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Children's Play Premiers at Ohio Northern University

Feb 7, 2007

Looking After Norman, a Scottish children's play, will premiere Feb. 17 and 18 at Ohio Northern University's Freed Center for the Performing Arts. It is the third production of the Freed Center's Young People's Artist Series.

ONU students will present the play by Stewart Brown in performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Feb. 17 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18. Each performance will be followed by a free painting workshop for children by Abigail Mosbarger, a senior art student from Urbana, Ohio. The production is underwritten in part by the Lima Memorial Health System.

Looking After Norman is a children's play about the friendship and adventures between a young girl named Georgia, her teddy bear Avocado, Norman the Cat and her elderly neighbor Mrs. Scott. In the story, Georgia learns about friendship, respect, family and promises. The play also gently touches on the concept of loss.

The cast includes Bryan Beckwith (Dad), a senior in communication arts (theater) from Osceola, Ind.; Chris Chiles (Avocado), a sophomore in communication arts (musical theater) from St. Mary's, Ohio; Rose C. Emrich (Mom), a sophomore in literature/communication arts (musical theater) from Painesville, Ohio; Tricia Hofacker (Mrs. Jones), a freshman in communication arts (theater) from Casstown, Ohio; Heather Powell (Mrs. Scott), a senior in communication arts (theater)/business management from Monroe, Ohio; Kristina Smith (Georgia), a senior in communication arts (musical theater) from Newark, N.Y.

Also taking part in the production are: Lindsay Esser, assistant director, a junior in communication arts (theater) from Bellefontaine, Ohio; Jojo Ginn, assistant stage manager, a freshman in communication arts (theater/public relations) from Perrysburg, Ohio; Elizabeth Orley, costumer, a senior in communication arts (theater) from Findlay, Ohio; and Katherine Wepler, stage manager, a sophomore in communication arts (international theater production) from Anderson, Ind.

The production is designed by Jill Davis who is the scenic charge artist at the Cleveland Playhouse.

Administrators for the production are Amy Larimore, a senior in communication arts (public relations) from Elida, Ohio; Laura Lucas, a senior in communication arts (theater)/Spanish from Minerva, Ohio; and Adam VonAlemn, a junior in music (vocal performance)/communication arts from Lima, Ohio.

Looking After Norman is a project of a theatre arts education class taught by Catriona Macphie, managing director of the Freed Center and director for the production. She said, "I chose a beautiful play, never seen before in USA. The actors, costume designer, administrators, assistant director and stage managers have worked on the piece throughout the quarter." In addition to the public performances, the play administrators have organized a free 10-week tour of the production for local schools. The students created the program, press materials and accompanying teacher's guide in addition to scheduling the tour.

Tickets for the public performances are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and students and $9 for children and can be purchased by calling the Freed Center box office at (419) 772-1900. The play is appropriate for children of all ages, particularly between the ages of 4 and 10.

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