Washington County Playhouse stages 'Frosty the Snowman'
The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater has been a place in the community where many memories have been made.
And although Laura J. Martin, who co-owns the playhouse with her husband, Shawn J. Martin, can be more than a little biased, not only because she owns the theater but because she met Shawn there. She said she’s not alone as people recount tales of their grandparents or parents taking them to the show when they were kids, and now they’re taking their own kids.
And although the Martins aren’t parents themselves, they are the fun aunt and uncle to their gaggle of nieces and nephews.
“We give our nieces and nephews experiences, and we think that’s much more valuable than stuff,” she said.
She’s encouraging parents, grandparents and other aunts and uncles to do the same thing. Especially for the Theater for Young Audiences production of “Frosty the Snowman.” The show opens Saturday, Nov. 11, and runs Saturdays through Dec. 23, at the downtown Hagerstown theater.
“I love the Theater for Young Audiences. It is so magical when they’re here and it doesn’t matter what show it is when it’s very first time seeing a play or their very first time seeing a live performance, or live music,” she said. “It’s very special to me that we’re giving them that opportunity and that hopefully it’s a memory that they will always remember. And you never know when there’s going to be that child who is like me and many members of our cast and many members of the theater, who say, ‘That’s my thing. That’s what I can do.”
Martin said this show was adapted by Susan Thornton and original music by Cathie Porter-Borden, both Frederick, Md., artists.
“It doesn’t exactly follow the storyline of the cartoon we all grew up with, but it does have a happy ending. I was already asked by a young lad if it was very sad at the end because he didn’t want to see it if it was going to be very sad at the end. This is not very sad,” she said.
Andrew Pregartener, 17, of Chambersburg, Pa., makes his Theater for Young Audiences premiere as Keith in this production. He said he’s always been a big fan of Frosty.
“I was liked having the show coming on, and always being excited to see it,” he said. “I always loved it.”
Although Andrew has appeared in the Playhouse’s “Kiss Me Kate” and “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” this is his first time acting in a show specifically for a younger audience.
“It’s interesting. I’ve never got to do a show like that. Seeing how it is, it’s kind of fun,” he said. “You get to hear their reactions and it kind of paces it. It’s not like you keep going, you’re listening for the audience and their reactions. It’s really interesting.”
The element he said he likes the most is how much the audience is also another character.
“I like how it’s very interactive,” he said.” I really loved that. It’s really cool and I’ve always kind of loved that.”
Kaitlyn Marie Lamkin of Hagerstown is Patty.
A veteran to Theater for Young Audiences, she said this is a show that won’t disappoint the young ones.
“I love the magical effect of it. I feel like it brings out the imagination element in a child’s mind,” she said. “They’re just playing with snow, but in the story the snow turns into a snowman and the snowman becomes your friend, and it’s very magical. In this version we have some magical scenes and actual effects that we’re doing. It’s really exciting.”
She said the interaction if the best part.
“I love listening and hearing the children laugh along with what we’re doing. It makes me feel like we’re bringing joy to their lives, regardless of what might be going on in their lives,” she said. “They get to come here and experience theater, whether it’s for the first time or if they just love theater they get to experience it and share laughter with their friends in the audience and the cast members.”
Andrew said “Frosty the Snowman” is just the right show for little ones for this time of year.
“It’s really great show for the holidays. The kids will love it,” he said. “It’s Frosty. And who doesn’t love Frosty?”