The Moline High School Theatre Department is producing the popular children’s story, Charlotte’s Web, at the end of this month. But, this is not the typical Charlotte’s Web high school production.
Members of the cast are taking weekend lessons at the Actors Gymnasium in Evanston, Illinois (Noyes Cultural Arts Center), a school for circus and performing arts (www.actorsgymnasium.com), in order to learn aerial movement on hanging silks. This acrobatic endeavor is very much like Cirque du Soleil style-movement, with moments of storytelling in the production that are communicated solely through this “dance in the sky.” Students will also incorporate other circus elements, including silk scarves, juggling, bike riding, and dancing. Charlotte, the spider, will be move on a lyra—a suspended hula hoop in the middle of the stage—throughout the show while the play’s four narrators will help her ‘spin her webs’ through imaginative dances on the hanging silks. The other animals will each have their own circus flair, including Templeton, the rat, who will be making his entrances on wheels—skateboards, scooters, and various bikes.
Moline High School Theatre’s 2011-2012 season, titled The Soaring Imagination, is off to a skyrocketing start with this Fall production. The students are learning to fly—physically, emotionally, intellectually and creatively.