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The final play in the Springer Children's Theater season is "The Big Friendly Giant"

It just may be the first show of the Springer Opera House's Children's Theatre to have most of its cast on stilts.

To portray the giants in "The Big Friendly Giant," director Ron Anderson put the young actors on stilts.

"These are all solid actors with great improvisational skills and they are fearless on stilts," Anderson said.

The play is based on the book by the great Roald Dahl, who also wrote "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach." It's about a young orphaned girl named Sophie, who inadvertently sees a giant, BFG (Big Friendly Giant). BFG, who is not supposed to be seen, snatches Sophie and they go on an adventure. They meet the top leaders of the Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the queens of England and Sweden.

Adam Archer, a Columbus State University theater graduate is playing BFG.

Asked how he (as the giant) was seen by a little girl, Archer said, "I don't consider him dumb. In the BFG world, he's very smart, and he's always right. But he may come across as less than smart."

The BFG is the runt of the family of giants.

"He's very noble," Archer said. "He tries to do the right thing. He doesn't really harm people."

The other giants, however, are scary creatures who love to eat little children. They have names like Bloodbottler, Bonecrusher, Fleshlumpeater, Meatdripper, Gizzardgulper and Childchewer.

And the military leaders try to save England from the child-eating giants.

"It's BFG's ingenuity and Sophie's courage that save the country," Anderson said. "At then end of the book, the giants are on display at the zoo. Sophie gets to live in Buckingham Palace. Yes, it's stolen from 'Annie.’ ”

As in most Springer Children's Theatre shows, there are Blue and Red Teams. The only one in all the performances is Archer. All the other roles are double-cast.

Leigh Hadaway, 11, a home-schooled fifth-grader, and Emily Pease, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at Brookstone School, play Sophie. Leigh is on the Red Team and Emily in the Blue Team.

"Sophie is nice and kind of careful with what she does," Leigh said.

Emily thinks Sophie is shy and scared at first. "Then she becomes quite adventurous," Emily said.

Melissa Saint-Amand (Blue Team) and Jasmin Anderson (Blue Team), both 16 and Columbus High School sophomores; Alex Willis (Blue Team), 17, Columbus High junior; Ansley Usery (Red Team), 15, Harris County High School sophomore; Betsy Flournoy (Red Team), 16, Brookstone junior; Kallen Bierly (Red Team), 15, a home-schooled freshman and Scott Valentine (Red Team), 17, Harris County High junior, all play the various giants and other roles.

IF YOU GOWhat: "The Big Friendly Giant," based on the novel by Roald Dahl (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach”), is about Sophie, a young orphan who sees a giant. When the giant realizes he's been seen, he kidnaps Sophie and the adventures begin.

When: 7 p.m. March 21 and March 28, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 22 and March 29

Where: Foley Hall, 1016 First Ave.

Tickets: $8; $5 for children

Information: 706-327-3688

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