GARY | Theater majors from Indiana University Northwest will tour local elementary schools to present an original musical revision of a children’s book starting Friday through April 26.
Jeff Casey, managing director of the Towle Theater, and Shelley J. Crosby, adapted "Pickle Chiffon Pie," written by Roger Bradfield, for a stage production four years ago and are pleased to expand the educational opportunities this new partnership allows.
Performances open to the public will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and March 24 at IUN’s Black Box theater on campus at 3600 Broadway. Tickets are $5.
The show is appropriate for pre-kindergarten through grade 5 students and runs about 45 minutes.
The cast includes Amanda Tomczak, of Griffith; Jacob Cherry, of Portage; Sophia Settle, of Hammond; Lindsay Hutchins, of Portage; Ryan Robinson, of Hammond; and John Edwards, of Merrillville.
The story is a fairy tale that revolves around a princess, a king and a queen, several handsome princes and of course, plenty of pickle chiffon pie. This isn’t a typical fairy tale, because there is no villain, no fighting and no bloodshed.
“I am most excited to come on stage wearing the super gorgeous princess dress because from what I’ve heard, the children go crazy over the princess. I’m just so ready for the kids,” Tomczak said.
Through this amusing, interactive musical, children grow to understand the meaning of compassion, love and consideration for others, said Casey.
IUN’s newly-established partnership with the Towle Theater functions as an internship program for IUN theater majors.
“Working with the Towle, our roles are not just cut and dried. You are never just a set designer, or an actor, or a techie. We get the chance to have our hands in every piece of the production,” said student Jacob Cherry.
IUN Assistant Professor of Theater in Acting and Directing Mark Baer is enthusiastic about the partnership. “Theater to me is a way to encourage a two-way social exchange that is limited when communicating to audiences through on-screen mediums,” he said.
“There are fantastic creatures that could never exist in reality, but there is the natural, timeless interaction of two young people liking each other and dealing with those feelings of confusion,” said Baer.
Although this is the fourth season of Pickle Chiffon Pie for the Towle Theater, this is the first time showing this production through the partnership with IUN. “These young performers breathe new life into this show,” Casey said.