Seventh-grader looks forward to performing for other kids
Tate McElhaney of Latrobe can now add “beanstalk climbing” to his growing list of acting skills.
In his latest stage role, he's also showing young audiences that size doesn't matter when it comes to being a hero.
McElhaney, a seventh-grade student at Latrobe Junior High School, portrays Jack, the young lad who overpowers a villain of gigantic proportions in the Apple Hill Playhouse children's production of “Fee Fi Fo Fum.” The musical adaptation by Vera Morris and Bill Francoeur pits Jack against the evil giant, Gogmagog, played by Trent Edwards.
The plot is based on a favorite British folk tale from the 1800s about a boy who sells the family cow to a man with some “magic beans” that eventually sprout into a towering beanstalk. Jack decides to climb the plant and, at the very top, finds Gogmagog's home, and the giant himself. Their encounter is less than friendly, but as fairytales often do, the story has a happy ending.
McElhaney says it was an easy decision to audition for this summertime acting adventure at the Delmont community theater.
“What boy wouldn't want to play Jack, the heroic giant slayer?” he asks. “He's adventurous, brave, and, sometimes, his imagination gets him into some trouble.”
Bradford Sadler of Pittsburgh directs the children's show, which features a large cast of mostly teenagers with a few additional children and three adults.
“We have a very eclectic group,” he says. “I have been very happy and grateful to see that they have all been working together and getting along splendidly.”
Sadler says he appreciates the opportunity to work with the young actors in “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum.”
“I think that young audiences will enjoy this show because the script is very funny and very entertaining, and our performers are doing a wonderful job making it very accessible and fun for our audiences,” he says.
A score featuring lively tunes such as “Good Things Are Bound to Happen,” “Magic Beans” and “Run, Jack, Run,” in addition to a simple set that enables room for a lot of stage movement and opportunities for audience interaction also add to the fun of this production.
Sadler directed “The Glass Menagerie” last fall at the Theatre Factory in Trafford. In January, he will return to his teaching position at Ohio Wesleyan University.
McElhaney has been acting since age 7 and says he is enjoying portraying Jack in “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum,” adding, “I think the most fun part about this role will be watching the kids' reaction when we perform it for them.”
Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ex-Steelers QB Batch creates sports medicine startup at Pitt
- Former Steelers LB Haggans to do time in Westmoreland jail
- Crosby understands rule prohibiting him from playing, stresses he is hurt
- Pitt adds Texas wide receiver as 16th commitment to Class of 2015
- WVU frat pledge had fatal blood alcohol level more than 6 times legal limit
- Allegheny County assistant public defender charged for allegedly lying to court staff
- Supporters optimistic about passage of medical marijuana
- Pittsburgh cracks down on overcrowded houses
- Officials dissent on whether offices can prohibit, charge to photograph public record documents
- LeBeau won’t join Cardinals coaching staff
- Crosby banned from Jets game because he missed All-Star Game