The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

WEEKENDER / Entertainment

April 19, 2013


Young cast highlights ‘Tom Sawyer’ at Harbor Playhouse

ASHTABULA —  Harbor Playhouse is celebrating its two-year anniversary with a real piece of Americana, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

With a script by William Braun, the Mark Twain characters are channeled into a full-length play, all taking place in Aunt Polly’s living room.

The play opens tonight and runs Saturday and Sunday and April 26, 27 and 28. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday productions are at 3 p.m.

“The plot comes in the dialogue,” says Sara Perts, operations director.

“It’s still an exciting play. Even though it takes place in one set, there’s a lot of movement,” she said.

Louie Ruane plays Tom Saywer, Joseph Damore as Huckleberry Finn, Ave Warren as Aunt Polly, Samson Ruane as Sid Sawyer, Dennis Dixon as Joe Harper, Marti Dixon as Widow Douglas, Kirana Rogers as Becky Thatcher, Mary Fetsko as Mary Rogers, Maximilian Ruane as Walter Potter, Lucy Ruane as Amy Lawrence, Eric Riesterer as Injun Joe, Perts as Sereny Harper and Sher Kanieski as Mrs. Thatcher.

Given the nature of the play, it is populated by a lot of children, mostly ages 12 to 16.

“There’s a different kind of approach when directing kids,” she said. “Most of them have been in other productions, either at Harbor Playhouse or the Ashtabula Arts Center.”

The play is directed by Mark Pendleton, a veteran of many productions in the area, although this is his first director’s stint at Harbor Playhouse.

“He’s not directed anything here so far, but he’s been in several productions, more as an actor than a director,” Perts said.

Pendleton said, “I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I like working with kids. We’ve done ‘Rock Nativity’ 10 times and I’ve been a part of it every time. It’s fun watching the kids grow up, have fun with it. Plus it’s hard to beat ‘Tom Sawyer.’”

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