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Eastside theater to perform kids show

Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith Eastside High School's Drama Players will present its fifth annual spring kid's production, "James and the Giant Peach" this weekend. Here, (l-r) Tommy Powell, a junior, plays the lead role of James; Haley Casola, a sophomore, portrays Aunt Spiker; and senior Amanda Hawkins is Aunt Sponge. The aunts are considered "nasty" and have given James a hard time since his parents died. Public showtimes are 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. General admission tickets cost $5, and teachers and children under 3 are free. The show is rated G.

Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith Eastside High School's Drama Players will present its fifth annual spring kid's production, "James and the Giant Peach" this weekend. Here, (l-r) Tommy Powell, a junior, plays the lead role of James; Haley Casola, a sophomore, portrays Aunt Spiker; and senior Amanda Hawkins is Aunt Sponge. The aunts are considered "nasty" and have given James a hard time since his parents died. Public showtimes are 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. General admission tickets cost $5, and teachers and children under 3 are free. The show is rated G.

COVINGTON -- Younger children are invited to Eastside High School this weekend to see a humorous high school-led production of "James and the Giant Peach."

Eastside High School's Drama Players will present its fifth annual spring kids show this week of Roald Dahl's classic play.

"James and the Giant Peach is a wonderful show," said drama director Andrew Jarvis. "It's funny, lighthearted and very entertaining."

It tells the story of James Henry Trotter, a sad and lonely boy who lost his parents in a tragic rhinoceros accident and wasforced to move in with his wicked aunts, Spiker and Sponge. One day, James accidentally spills the enchanted gift of a mysterious stranger at the foot of a tired peach tree.

Newton County elementary schools will bring in students for shows throughout the day today and shows will be open to the public at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

"The (Eastside) students really enjoy getting to do children's theater performances because the shows are so upbeat and fun. They get to act silly and very animated, almost like cartoon characters," Jarvis said. "Nothing beats performing in front of children. There is no better sound than hearing them laugh and cheer as they watch a show."

He said one of the best parts of the show is that the kids in the audience get to participate. Before the show starts, students will ask for kid volunteers to be sharks and cloud people.

"The sharks get to wear shark fins on their back and 'swim' in front of the stage, trying to attack James and the insects. The cloud people get to look big and menacing, and at a certain point, they get to throw 'hail' (balled up pieces of paper) at James and the insects," Jarvis said. "It is going to be a fantastic show."

The theater students have spent about six weeks getting costumes, building sets and working on their characters. Eighteen students will perform in the show, but about 20 other students have helped build sets, costumes and props.

General admission tickets cost $5, and teachers and children under 3 are free. The show is rated G.