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Serious fun with Ashland Children's Theatre

Move over Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Ashland Children's Theatre will present "Until Death Do You Part," a new play by Eve Smyth, ACT's co-director.

Smyth's piece is a comedy written with a classic film noir style. During her process, she asked members of the cast — ages 11 through 17 — what kinds of roles they would like to play.

"Some said, 'Hey, I'd like to be in disguise.' Others wanted emotional scenes," says Kate Sullivan, who also co-directs Ashland Children's Theatre. "So Eve wrote the roles into the script while keeping the mystery plot."

Shows are set for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at the former Trinity Respite Center, 905 Skylark Place, Ashland.

Characters in the cast include a hard-boiled detective, a damsel in distress, a suspicious man with a strange accent and a femme fatale — or two.

"The kids who come to Ashland Children's Theatre have a passion for acting out stories," Sullivan says. "They're having a lot of serious fun telling this story. We've got a noir style, and Eve has written a lot hilarity into the plot."

In "Until Death Do You Part," the hero encounters Double Trouble, Marla serves up common sense and raised, glazed donuts at the diner, a newspaper gets into a tight squeeze, a capable girl gets into a jam ... and what about those alligators?

"Eve and I feel that children's theater ... offers young people a chance to express themselves," Sullivan says. "Many young people find their niche in theater; it becomes like a family."

The cast includes Aubyn Heglie, Brianna Berryessa, Eli Piccarreta, Heather Rosenthal, Rowan Heglie, Autumn Henderson-Brazie, Hannah Ruby Ring, Jewels Weinberg, Kaelin Rodriguez, Liam Thompson, Makayla Laughery, Mila Phelps-Friedl and Tyler Myers.

Tickets cost $5 and are available at the door. Call 541-301-4549 or see www.oregonstageworks.net/kids for information.

Mila Phelps-Friedl, Jewels Weinberg and Hannah Ruby Ring in the Ashland Children's Theatre production of 'Until Death Do You Part.' - Photo by Keith Henty