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Charlotte's Web the Musical will be playing at Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio this weekend.

ABC Players to bring 'Charlotte's Web the Musical' to Stuart's Opera House

ABC Players' cast that mixes Southeast Ohio residents and Ohio University students will bring Charlotte's Web the Musical to Stuart's Opera House this weekend.

Wilbur and his barnyard friends will be singing and dancing in ABC Players’ latest musical.

The local theater troupe is performing Charlotte’s Web the Musical Friday through Sunday at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville. Tickets are $7.  

The classic E.B. White tale of the friendly spider named Charlotte who befriends a young pig named Wilbur is being brought to life on stage by a cast of about 40. The cast includes a mixture of actors from Southeast Ohio and a handful of Ohio University students.

Jodi MacNeal has been involved with ABC Players since 2009 and is the director of Charlotte’s Web the Musical.

“We have some new kids this time who have never done theater and that I have really enjoyed seeing,” MacNeal said.

Charlotte’s Web features actors ranging from five to almost 70 years old.

“This one has given us a little more challenge. They’re not familiar songs at all, and we have had some things that have come up in people’s lives recently that have changed who’s doing what.” MacNeal said.

Making everyone’s schedules align was one difficulty the production faced, MacNeal said. Regardless, she added that the cast is going to feed off the laughter of the audience to give a memorable performance.

“I think there will be funny moments and touching moments between Charlotte and Wilbur because her goal is to ultimately save Wilbur’s life,” MacNeal said. “One of the songs Charlotte and Wilbur sing is ‘Who Says We Can’t Be Friends?’… I think that’s the theme throughout the play and that’s pretty cool.”

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Zoie Lanning, a freshman at Trimble High School in Glouster, plays the role of Charlotte.

“I’m most excited because it’s such a well known show,” Lanning said. “I think it’s really nicely told through a bunch of fun songs and dancing, and I think that really brings a new element to it.”

Charlotte’s Web is only Lanning’s second show with the ABC Players, and the importance of her role, she said, comes with a few nerves.

“This show has been so different than any other show I’ve done because I’ve never been this big of a character,” she said. “I’ve always been ensemble, so it’s all really new … but this cast is amazing, and it’s been really fun.”

Playing the role of Templeton the Rat is Brittan Posey, a freshman at Ohio University studying retail merchandising and fashion development. While not his first show ever, Charlotte’s Web is his very first show performing with ABC Players.

“This play is truly the spirit of community theater. It’s a group of people who come from different areas, different ways of life,” Posey said. “We’re all coming together to make one whole picture and it’s a beautiful and wonderful collaboration of people.”

Posey said each show comes with its own emotional reaction.

“Opening night — it’s the nervousness. It’s the excitement,” Posey said. “However, the last show to me is very important … Every show that I’ve done, the last performance is this blur and replaying of memories from rehearsals, past performances, and just all the people I’ve met.”



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