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Summer Theatre Concludes with 'The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs'

July 18, 2019

ESU Summer Theatre will close its 65th anniversary season with its annual family-friendly production, “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.” Based on the popular children’s book of the same name, the story is told from the perspective of Alexander T. Wolf as he tries to set the story straight about how he came to be “big and bad.” It will be presented in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre at 7:30 p.m. nightly from July 24 through 26. A family matinee will be performed on Saturday, July 27 at 2 p.m. 

During the show, the audience will become the jury as the characters present the familiar story of the wolf and the three little pigs in a courtroom complete with singers, dancers and shadow puppets. At the end of the “trial,” the jury determines the wolf’s fate. So, two endings are being rehearsed. With a clever premise, exciting songs, shadow puppets, dances and an energetic cast, it is a show geared for the younger set but enjoyed by the whole family — young and old alike.  

Jim Bartruff directs alongside Lindy Bartruffas choreographer. Susie Williams is the Costume Designer, and Chris Lohkamp is the Scenic Designer. The cast includes Jasmine Hall (Independence) as an investigative reporter who narrates the story; Brian Percivial (Olathe) as Alexander T. Wolf; Gabby Hernandez (Hutchinson) as the judge; Zulema Renteria (Emporia) as the prosecutor; Colton Adams (Wichita) as Rocky the bailiff; Erin McNeley-Phelps (Lenexa) as the star witness; and, Weiqi Meng (Beijing, China) as assorted other characters.  

The production stage manager is Miranda Kimble (Mullinville). The assistant stage manager is Ben Johnson (Wichita). Amanda Dura is the costume shop manager and Alum Ben Williams (BFA, 2010) is the Technical Director. The lighting designer is Mason Nicks (Leavenworth), and Jared Steele (Garden City) will serve as Sound Designer. The Costume Crew Head is Elizabeth Higbee (Emporia) and the Propmaster is Nicholas Todd (Gardner). His assistant is Riley Jack Greenwood (Valley Center).

Tickets purchased in advance cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Tickets purchased at the door on the day of a performance increase to $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets for all ESU Theatre productions can be purchased online at tickets.emporia.edu. Tickets are also available in person from the University Ticket Office in the Memorial Union or by calling 620-341-6378.

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Emporia State’s Summer Theatre program celebrates its 65th birthday this season. The program was begun in 1955 by Karl C. Bruder and is the longest running summer stock theatre on the Great Plains. Season 65 begins with “What I Did Last Summer,” a charming memory play from A.R. Gurney, the author of “The Dining Room,” “Love Letters” and “Family Furniture.” Each has been performed on ESU stages in previous seasons.

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Like any major construction project, Emporia State’s plan to demolish two pieces of the Morse Hall complex and renovate Abigail Morse Hall involves some heavy lifting. The early prep work is designed to reduce waste in the landfill and help area nonprofit agencies.

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