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'Many Moons'

As part of its regular season of theater productions, Southern Oregon University's Department of Theatre Arts stages a play for young audiences. This year's children's theatre offering is "Many Moons," adapted by Charlotte Chorpenning from the book by James Thurber.

"Many Moons" plays at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Three shows are set for Saturday, March 1 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The show runs Feb. 15 through March 2 in the Center Square Theatre, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Thurber wrote the children's book "Many Moons" in 1943. It received the Caldecott Medal in 1944. Charlotte Chorpenning, who adapted Thurber's story to the stage, wrote and directed most of the plays for the Children's Theatre at the Goodman Theatre of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1932 to 1951.

The story follows 10-year-old Princess Lenore who ate too many raspberry tarts and believes that the moon will take away her stomach ache. "This story, with its colorful characters and fairy tale-like plot, is a delight for children and adults," says Director Chris DuVal in a press release. "We laugh and identify with the Court Jester as he and the Princess work out their simple miracle while the Wise Men are forced to eat humble pie."

DuVal says that "the play teaches us that the perspectives of children are pure and free from clutter — and that from this mind set, new and innovative ideas can be planted and nurtured. It's my goal that our audiences, young and mature alike, will not only be captivated and charmed by this story but also deeply moved by the powerful message of simplicity it presents of innocent and uncluttered thought."

DuVal, who directs academic and community theater, has been a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival company. Most recently, he directed actors in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival School Tour Program, which sends teams of actors into a variety of elementary, high school and colleges to perform and teach.

Tickets are $17 general admission, $14 for seniors, and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door or by calling the SOU theatre arts box office at 552-6348. See www.sou.edu/theatre.

Nick Ferrucci plays the Jester and Tara Watkins the Princess in James Thurber’s “Many Moons,” the children’s theatre offering of the Southern Oregon University Department of Theatre Arts. - Photo by Ezra Severin