Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

The Overlook Theatre Company is up to its old tricks preparing another phenomenal performance they will proudly present at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.  A very talented cast and crew will bring the childhood classic “Charlotte’s Web” to life on Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18. There are 48 cast and crew members who bring Charlotte’s Web to life on the stage. Rehearsals began mid-February and after weeks of perfecting the show, the Overlook Theatre Company will bring the show to life this weekend.

“We tried some different ideas and we decided ‘Charlotte’ is best represented by two puppets – one is a marionette that is worked from above and the other is a traditional hand puppet that is worked from below,” said Scotty Corbin, creative director for the Overlook Theatre Company.

In addition to the weekend shows that are open to the public, the cast and crew of the Overlook Theatre Company will be performing for students across Western North Carolina, which began on Wednesday, which Corbin said is his favorite part of the show. “We love school shows and all the excitement that the kids bring to the production,” said Corbin. “Many of the kids have never seen a live theatrical event and been inside of a real theatre.”

A little different than most of the Overlook Theatre Company’s show, Charlotte’s Web doesn’t feature any music.

“This production is a non-musical and is a one-act play,” explained Corbin. “Our main focus of this show is to really show the power of Charlotte and Wilbur’s friendship.”

“Charlotte’s Web” is a timeless and beloved novel written by E.B. White. It tells the memorable story of a little pig named Wilbur who is the runt of the litter and struggles to survive from the very beginning.

A young girl named Fern begs her father to let her raise Wilbur.  She cares for the piglet until he becomes a certain size and then he is sold to her uncle, Homer Zuckerman.  Wilbur moves to Zuckerman Farm where he meets a wise, gray spider named Charlotte and learns the true meaning of friendship.

With the help of Charlotte, Templeton the rat, and many other barnyard friends, Wilbur becomes the prize-winning pig at the County Fair and the most famous pig, ever.  More importantly, they save him from the dire fate Farmer Zuckerman had in mind. “Charlotte’s Web” teaches many lessons of friendship, loyalty, and truth and shows that friends come in all shapes and sizes.  It has been enjoyed by readers, both young and old, for more than six decades. It has received multiple literary awards and has been adapted for film, stage, and even video games.  This family-friendly production of “Charlotte’s Web” is a one-act play that will last approximately one hour. It is suitable for all ages.

“This production is based on the classic book by E. B White and is produced especially for children of elementary age, but anyone – young or old – will love the sweetness of the story, the whimsy of the costumes and the message of how important it is to cherish your friendships,” said Corbin.

The Overlook Theater Company is committed to fostering artistic discovery and expression and providing a place where people of all ages can nurture their talents as they grow and learn.  They strive to provide quality, family entertainment in each performance and have been successfully helping families make warm and wonderful memories for more than 20 years.

To purchase tickets to see “Charlotte’s Web,” a beautiful tale of friendship and loyalty, or to find out more information about this or any other show at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, visit GreatMountainMusic.com or call (866) 273-4615.

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