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Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Richard Biever, producing artistic director of FUSE Productions in State College, is presenting a single public performance of the children’s musical Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15 in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.
Based on characters from the popular children's books by Mo Willems, the show includes best friends, Gerald the elephant and Piggie the pig. When these two get together, anything is possible.

Gerald (Jonathan O'Harrow) and Piggie (Madeline Biever) are best friends, but Gerald worries that something could go wrong that would end their friendship. Piggie is not worried at all. She’s even happier and more excited than usual. That’s because she and Gerald might be invited to a fancy pool costume party hosted by The Squirrelles (Katie Kensinger, Clara Hanahan, Lauren McKee), three singing squirrels who love to have a good time.

At the party, Gerald and Piggie might learn a crazy new dance, or decide to spend the day skipping and playing ping-pong in silly hats. Bring your "bestus" friend and share the laughter.

“This play is hilarious,” said Biever. “Youngsters ages three and up really enjoy it as do others who are older and have read Willems books. Adults who are kids at heart love it too,” he said.

O’Harrow is looking forward to the chance to be “a bit larger than life” as the elephant and to the energy and sense of wonder that youngsters bring to the show. “Any time you’re onstage, the audience is as much a part of the process as you are – an extra character,” he said. “That’s ten times as true for children – they will be very involved in some of the sketches and songs.”

Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!” was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and debuted there in 2013. The book and lyrics were authored by Willems, based on characters taken from the pages of his award-winning, best-selling children's books. Deborah Wicks La Puma, composer, music director and orchestrator, wrote the music.

FUSE Productions brings together local actors, Penn State alums, current students and faculty, and professional actors from around the country to create an exciting professional theatre experience.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children under 12 and can be purchased by calling 570-724-6220, stopping at the Deane Center, or by ordering them online by visiting www.deanecenter.com.

An elephant named Gerald (Jonathan O'Harrow, left) and a pig named Piggie (Madeline Biever) take the stage in a rollicking adventure filled with beloved characters and lively songs.

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