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Pinocchio And Little Red

Theatre of the People is presenting two classic tales of children coming to maturity with a couple of young actors who are, in some ways, on the same paths as their characters.

Elementary school student Owen Walter and high schooler Sarah Leaffer star in the group's productions of Pinocchio and Little Red. The two are veterans of TOP productions.

Owen Walter says that the character of Pinocchio in TOP's adaptation of the original novel, by local playwright Albert Powell, is based in part on the author's observations of the young actor himself. But, he quickly adds, his own character is different in many ways than that of the mischievous wooden boy. When he's not on stage, he enjoys doing video projects - but he prefers to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. Owen is enjoying his first lead role, but does admit that "there are a lot of lines to learn."

While the script for Pinocchio comes from a novel, Little Red is an adaptation of traditional folktales by playwright Ruth Aaron Grove. Sarah Leaffer observes that, like Pinocchio, the story of Little Red is one of growth and maturity. "At first she has trouble with her parents and misbehaving, but then after meeting the wolf and the other freaky characters in the story she matures quite a bit." Leaffer has especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with Theatre of the People. "It's a chance to work with people my own age and older in a very supportive environment."

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