Go and do

What: “The Paper Bag Princess,” a children’s play

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St., Lewiston

‘Paper Bag Princess’ punches holes in stereotypes

LEWISTON – The Robinson Players, a student theater company at Bates College, will perform a children’s play, “The Paper Bag Princess,” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Loosely based on Robert Munsch’s book of the same title, the play tells of Princess Elizabeth, who’s on a mission to rescue Prince Ronald from a dragon. She meets a quirky cast of fairy tale characters along the way, including Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and the troll from the “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

In the spirit of Munsch’s book, which is about breaking traditional roles, each character twists the tale that she or he is known for.

Directing this production is Bates senior Michelle Gomperts. “Children have learned to look forward to the annual Bates show as their older brothers and sisters have attended them in the past,” Gomperts said. She’s been involved in the series since its inception.

Since some of the students haven’t seen a play, “we stage the show in Bates’ largest performance space and fully use theater’s many impressive capabilities – lighting, sound, costumes, sets. It’s very rewarding to perform for a crowd of elementary school students,” she said.

In addition to Tuesday night’s show, which is open to all, the players will perform the piece again on Wednesday, May 25, for children from invited elementary schools. Support for this performance is provided by the Arthur Crafts Service-Learning Award at Bates.

Gomperts is the executive director of the Robinson Players and the master electrician for the college’s theater department. “It’s simple for the kids to empathize with the characters” in this play, she says. “So I hope that the kids who see it will take away a few ideas: Look beyond appearances, don’t assume things and don’t be afraid of breaking out of stereotypes.”

“I also hope that they take a bit of the magic of theater with them.”

This is the Robinson Players’ fifth annual production in the “Stages for All Ages” series, which the company puts together during the five-week spring short term.

Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. FMI: call (207) 777-6793.

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