The Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) at Plymouth State College presents the world premiere of “Frindle,” Jan. 23 through 27 at the Silver Cultural Arts Center.
Based on a book of the same name by Massachusetts author Andrew Clements (who will attend the Friday evening performance), Frindle was adapted for the stage by Trish Lindberg, associate professor of education and director of the M.Ed. Integrated Arts graduate program at Plymouth State College.
Lindberg, co-founder and artistic director of ETC, received the 1999 Governor’s Arts and Education Award from the N.H. State Council on the Arts. Her 2000 production, “Mail to the Chief,” presented 44 New Hampshire children on stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Frindle is set in a small New Hampshire town and tells the tale of 10-year-old Nick, who pushes the limits at every opportunity to the exasperation of his teacher, Mrs. Granger. His antics are not malicious, but rather inventive and creative. Nick coins a new word in an attempt to turn Mrs. Granger’s love of the dictionary around on her. He gets all his classmates to use the word “Frindle” instead of “pen.”
Nick’s effort to make “frindle” a recognized word excites the whole community and even gets some national publicity. Most amazing of all,”frindle” actually becomes an official entry in the dictionary, and Nick comes to realize the power of language and how inspired he’s been by Mrs. Granger’s passion for vocabulary.
Adam Walton of Warner plays Nick. Adam is well known by Concord area audiences for his many performances with the Concord Players, including last year’s production of “The Hobbit.” Adam is also a regular with the Kearsarge Arts Theatre in New London, also directed by Lindberg, and acted in “Mail to the Chief.”
PSC Assistant Professor of Acting, Beth Cox, play Mrs. Granger. Cox holds a B.A. degree in Speech and Dramatic Art and an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling/Deafness from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she taught acting and drama appreciation. In addition to performances at Plymouth State College, her professional work includes video and voice-over work for several popular children’s stories.
Nick’s parents are played by Plymouth Chief of Police, Tony Raymond, and Melody Funk of Rumney, both ETC veterans.
ETC is a joint venture of Plymouth State College, Plymouth Elementary School, and Friends of the Arts and is a two-time winner of the Moss Hart Award for excellence in community theatre.
This year’s production, the eighth for ETC, includes an intergenerational cast of more than 50 community members, elementary school and college students, and PSC faculty and staff from many area towns.
A family preview performance of Frindle will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23 General public performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 – $12 at the Silver Cultural Arts Center Box Office, (603-535-ARTS) Monday through Friday, noon. to 6 p.m. If special accommodations are needed for people with disabilities, please call in advance.
“Frindle” is presented by special permission from Simon and Schuster and Screaming Mama Pictures.