'Charlotte's Web': Three actors take on title role in Springer production

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 11, 2014 

The star of the Springer’s “Charlotte’s Web” has eight legs — and three heads.

Savannah Lee, Danielle Lorentz and Zoe Wirt each star as the show’s titular wise spider. They’re outfitted in complimenting colors; they share some of the lines while others are split up.

This gives the effect of “a multitude of different vocal patterns,” Lorentz said.

Wirt said that the three of them have been working to choreograph specific movements, which is a good thing because they don’t make eye contact on stage.

“I blocked them so that they don’t look at each other, because I want to imply that they’re one mind, instead of three different minds that are making a decision,” said director Sally Baker.

The show is put on by the Springer’s Theatre Academy students, many of whom will head to college in the fall. And it’s probably not quite how you’re imagining it.

While it still follows Fern, Wilbur, Charlotte and the rest of the gang, this “Charlotte’s Web” is certainly less literal.

This will be the first summer show at the new McClure Theatre, which has a wealth of technical and theatrical accommodations that Foley Hall did not.

The set is dominated by giant wooden scaffolding, to affect the rafters of a barn, upon which the three Charlottes will crawl and weave their web. The animals are even outfitted like humans. Nick Rulon, who plays Templeton, said he’s dressed as a “dapper gangster from the ’20s.”

The trick is less in what the actors are wearing and more in how they’re moving.

“Your character is not just about what you’re wearing. It’s about who you are physically and you have to manifest that into your body,” said cast member Mikayla Cypert.

Baker said it makes great sense for the academy to approach this show in this way. She said past productions have trained audiences, and actors, in “interpreting that which is not concrete.”

“And to me as a director, that is a much more exciting kind of play than pig ears and duck tail,” she said.

IF YOU GO

What: “Charlotte’s Web”

Where: McClure Theatre, 103 10th St.

When: July 11-27

Tickets: $7-13

Info: www.springeroperahouse.com or 706-327-3688

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