Monday, January 23, 2012

There’s trouble lurking around every bend, down every path, and in every nook and cranny of the palace. Unless audience members attending UW-Manitowoc’s production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” are willing to help, poor Snow White is destined to spend her life in the forest with “the noisy birds, and lots of icky things.” According to producer, Kathy Palmer, this version of the classic fairy tale relies heavily on audience participation to keep the story moving.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be presented at


Thursday, Jan, 26...7:00

With the exception of the dwarfs, three actors take on all the roles needed for the show, often making quick costume and character changes in front of the audience.

Cathi Burish, Riverview Kindergarten Center Principal, plays the evil Queen determined to be the most beautiful woman in the land, promising to “slime” anyone attempting to help Snow White. She transforms herself into a gypsy trinket seller, and an aged apple peddler. Burish has performed in Heart-A-Rama, and numerous other local theatre and music productions.

As the narrator, Keith Shaw sets up the story line for the audience, and leads the children through creative activities as part of the story. With his help, they awaken Snow White who falls asleep and rattles the windows with her snoring, and warn Snow White of impending dangers. Keith morphs into the mirror’s reflection, and the huntsman who must do the Queen’s bidding or else. When an Italian Prince rides in on his trusty steed to insure a happily-ever-after ending, that’s Keith as well.

Keith Shaw, seasoned theatre veteran, is back on the boards after a successful career as principal of Lincoln High School. Shaw is best known for his recurring role as Eddie in the Historic Forst Inn’s popular musical “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up.” His skills as a quick costume change artist were honed in “Greater Tuna,” in which he was challenged to play nine different characters, each with a distinct look and persona.

Corrie Skubal, Riverview School family liaison educator, plays the title role of Snow White. Skubal’s Snow White is a bit funky, with a colorful wardrobe, and a spirit to match. “It’s Snow White’s good heart that makes everyone want to protect her,” commented Skubal. In fact, the entire audience must help hide Snow White when the Queen learns that she is safe and happy living in the forest. Skubal has performed with Masquers, and Heart-A-Rama where, coincidentally, she played Snowy in a twisted re-telling of the familiar tale.

The story would not be complete without the other title characters – seven dwarfs. Keith Shaw plays the lead dwarf, and the remaining six will be chosen at random from the audience. The six will be on stage for nearly half of the show, and interact with all three characters.

According to Palmer, “The non-traditional staging and whimsical approach to the story, and characters freshens up this favorite fairy tale.” Palmer has produced numerous children’s plays and musicals, earning her audience favorite recognition for her quirky portrayals in several of those productions.

“In a show like this, I like to keep things simple”, explained Bev Denor, director. “The simplicity keeps kids focused on the story, and also shows them how easy it is to create pieces for their own backyard productions.”

Madeline Hansen is student director. Maddie has been on hand to help with several shows produced through the Continuing Education Department at UW-Manitowoc. She performed in that group’s all-student musical, ‘Really Rosie” and has participated in theatre at Lincoln High School under the direction of Bill Hansen.

Chris Lochmann provided construction assistance, and Pat Smith is lighting and sound designer.

Bev Denor has directed locally for a number of groups including Heart-A-Rama, Masquers, the Historic Forst Inn, Silver Lake College, The Children’s Center of the Arts, and LaDeDa’s Three-Dollar Theatre. Along with Kevin Hansen, she co-founded the travelling improv troupe, Bad Timing. She has taught theatre at Valders High School and UW-Manitowoc in addition to directing plays through the Continuing Education Department at UW-Manitowoc including “The Taffeta's,” “ A Taffeta Christmas,” and “Honky Tonk Angels”.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children. They will be available at the door the night of the show. For more information, call Kathy Palmer at 683.4702.