Apple Hill Playhouse's 'Puss-in-Boots' encourages young actors to use imaginations
There are “no adults allowed,” at least not onstage, as Apple Hill Playhouse concludes its Johnny Appleseed Children's Theatre summer season with a production of “The Truly Remarkable Puss-In-Boots.”
Andy Meholick of Pittsburgh is directing a cast of nine young actors, ages 9 to 14, in Patricia Clapp's adaptation of the classic tale about the swashbuckling cat with an attitude.
“We have put this show together with a healthy balance of rehearsing and game playing,” Meholick says. “I have never worked with such an enthusiastic cast before. I'm just trying to keep up.”
Carolyn Jerz, a 12-year-old, home-schooled seventh-grader from Greensburg plays the title role.
Her father, Dennis Jerz, an English faculty member at Seton Hill University, takes partial credit for his daughter's interest in being in the show. “Andy was in a couple of my literature classes,” he says, “and I took Carolyn to see Andy performing in several shows at Seton Hill.”
Carolyn agrees. “I had seen Andy in shows, and I admired his acting ability. When I found out he was directing this show, I thought it would be cool to work with him,” she says.
In the Apple Hill production, Puss in Boots has a series of adventures and a scary encounter with an ogre, played by Macy Kostovny. Puss persuades the ogre to adopt a mouse's form, which turns out to be a big mistake for the monster.
“Puss in Boots is very conceited, and she uses her magical power to get her master something that will make his snooty sisters jealous,” Carolyn says. “But she does have a ‘little kitty cat' side to her, too.”
Carolyn has performed at Seton Hill University as Rosella in a production of “Six Characters in Search of an Author.” She also was Mary Lennox in Stage Right's production of “The Secret Garden” and Alice in the company's home-school production of “Alice in Wonderland.” In December, she will play Young Estella in the Pict Classic Theater's production of “Great Expectations.”
Meholick says that the classic tale of “Puss-in-Boots” might not be a familiar story to some children. He admits the cat is probably best known to youngsters as a character from the “Shrek” film series.
“This show allows kids to use their imagination and laugh at the possibility of their furry friend one day saying ‘thank you' when they give it breakfast in the morning,” he says. “I hope everyone goes home and tries to get their cat or dog to talk to them, or go on adventures of their own in their living rooms.”
Also in the cast are Matthew Lyons, Maya Bhatnagar, Sarah Brammell, Addy Hildebrand, Nathaniel Lyons, Cameron Powell, Ryann Shirey and Paige Thatcher. Macy Kostovny is the stage manager.
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.
- Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
- State Dems broke ties with political consultant days before FBI raids
- Worker injured when excavator backs over him in Kittanning
- Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Cardinals add outfielder Moss in trade with Indians
- Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
- Man with handgun robs Fayette County bar, patron
- Derry boy recovering at home after high-profile intestinal transplant
- Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg
- ‘Greed is not criminal,’ says judge in McCullough trial
- Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless