Dublin Villager

Coffman faculty is ready to spin a tale on stage

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JENNIFER NOBLIT/THISWEEKNEWS
Jen Lemke, as Fern, sings with Wilbur, played by Steve Kucinski, in the Dublin Coffman High School faculty production of Charlotte's Web .
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A group of Coffman High School teachers are doing double duty as they take on acting for the latest faculty production.

The Dublin Coffman High School faculty will stage Charlotte's Web, a musical adapted from the E.B. White children's book, at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 and 29 and 1 p.m. Dec. 1.

The faculty stages a show to benefit the Coffman High School PTO's Shamrock grant that funds projects in classrooms.

Deana Jones, who plays Martha in the show, said being in the production is just fun. She's participated in seven shows so far.

"It builds a sense of community," said Melanie Hitsman, who portrays Owl in the show.

"You meet people that you don't get to see," said Becky Payne, a townsperson. "You're stuck in your room, but here you meet people in different departments."

The title character, Charlotte, is played by Tara DiLorenzo, who has been in four faculty shows and other productions "here and there."

"It's a lot of fun, but it's challenging to balance the job with this on top of it," she said. "Being a part of this with all your colleagues is good for the culture."

It also bridges a gap between students and teachers.

"The years we don't do this the kids get mad," Cyndi Slussar, who plays Lamb, said.

"This puts us on an equal footing with the kids," DiLorenzo said, adding that students involved in the behind-the-scenes part of the production get to see teachers make mistakes.

Principal Mike Ulring is involved in the musical, as usual.

Even though it's not his favorite activity, Ulring said students treat faculty differently once they see them on stage.

"They appreciate what you're doing," he said.

"You're going out of your comfort zone," Ulring said. "In the end it just builds your relationship with the kids. They see you taking risks."

The students also see the time and effort the faculty puts into the show. Staff are in charge of their own costumes and spend time practicing after school.

"There are many other things we could be doing," Ulring said. "But it's a great feeling, especially afterwards."

Along with faculty on the stage, students help manage the show and work on sound, lighting and design.

"We have kids here every single day," Ulring said.

Staff members also get family members in on the act. Little spiders will be played by the children of faculty members.

Children who come to the show can also be part of a pre-show costume parade on stage, Hitsman said. After the show, the actors will be available to meet in the lobby.

Tickets to "Charlotte's Web" are $7 for adults and $4 for students and can be purchased at the door.

 

 

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