Hollow Tree Players prepare for fall theater performance |

Hollow Tree Players prepare for fall theater performance

Since 1969, the Hollow Tree Players, a nonprofit children’s theater group, has provided entertainment to the Ligonier Valley, allowing local children the opportunity to experience and appreciate live theater.

The group’s fall production, “The Rumpled Tale of Rapunzel,” will be performed for the public at 7 p.m. tomorrow and 11 a.m. Saturday at the Ligonier Town Hall.

“We do it for the kids,” Melissa Zimmerman, who wrote the play, said of the Player’s devotion to theater. “All of our plays are interactive stories, so they become part of the show. It’s awesome to have an audience full of giggling children. We just love it.”

The Hollow Tree Players, many of whom are or were involved in children’s education, perform two different shows a year with a cast made up entirely of women.

“We think it’s important to promote the arts and show children how fun theater can be,” said the show’s director, Diana Kuzemchak of Ligonier.

As a first time director (group members take turns directing the shows), Kuzemchak said she is thoroughly enjoying the experience.

“It’s a great group of women to work with,” she said. “Everyone is easygoing and we have a lot of fun.”

Zimmerman, who also serves at the group’s president, has been adapting plays for the Hollow Tree Players for five years.

For “The Rumpled Tale of Rapunzel,” Zimmerman said she asked Kuzemchak what show she would like to direct.

“When she said either “Rapunzel” or “Rumpelstiltskin,” I decided to twist the two classic fairy tales together,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said the process usually begins with reading the original version of a story and then a few adaptations. She then tries to answer any questions that may not have been addressed in the story.

Her creative version of Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin, which also includes a touch of other fairy tales, consists of four scenes and lasts an around an hour and 15 minutes.

“I am truly amazed at Melissa’s adaptation and the perfect way she weaves the stories together,” said Patsy Kennedy of Ligonier, who plays Rumpelstiltskin. “She understands children’s interests, language and humor and is able to capture their attention and imagination while making the play enjoyable for adults as well.”

Kennedy, a former elementary school librarian, said she was excited about the selection of “Rumpelstiltskin” and “Rapunzel,” as they were two of her favorite books to read with the children.

All Hollow Tree productions benefit a children’s charity or organization or a local child in need, and proceeds from this show will be donated to Jonathan Finger, a Ligonier Valley graduate battling cancer.

“We try to look within the community and reach out to someone that needs help,” Zimmerman said.

The Players will perform six times — four during the week for local school districts and pre-schools and two for the public.

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the door the day of the event with cash or check.

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.