Shenango to present 'Star Child' as annual holiday production Dec. 2-4

Shenango students pose for a picture during a rehearsal of their upcoming holiday production.

"Star Child" cast members get acquainted with the sound effects and other elements used in the production. Pictured from left to right are Corinn Stonebraker, Dean Baker, Leon Nichols, and Katherine Shacklock.

Credit: Penn State

SHARON, Pa. — The Penn State Shenango Drama Club is in final rehearsals for its presentation of the original comedy "Star Child." Designed to appeal to all ages, the show is set in a radio station that is about to do a radio play as a special fundraiser for the local community food warehouse, but the actors haven’t shown up yet. The station staff and a local children’s choir do their best to save the day using the troupe’s scripts and creating all the manual sound effects themselves. "Star Child" is written and directed by Penn State Shenango faculty member Jeanne Zingale, who teaches theater and communications.

"Star Child" will launch at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Penn State Shenango Auditorium, located at 147 Shenango Ave. in Sharon, across from the Sharon post office. There will also be two matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 4. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $5 for children under age 4. Admission includes a snack at intermission and an opportunity to visit with Santa after the show.

The show blends comedy and heart, making it a perfect Christmas treat for the whole family. Although not a musical, there is Christmas music provided by the children in the show and a special rap number that involves many of the cast members.

The cast includes Corinn Stonebraker as Julia, the marketing manager at WSPA-ZM. Katherine Shacklock plays Brenda, the station’s secretary/ bookkeeper. Leon Nichols plays Techie, the person who works the dials to make sure that the patter and occasional raps by Spinner, played by Dean Baker, go out over the air.

Playing the Scrooge-like station manager, Evan Neezer, is Michael J. Hill. Paula Miles plays Stephanie Prism, Neezer’s niece and the director of the children’s choir that just “happens” to drop by the station to get autographs from the visiting actors. Joyce Howard plays Ernestine Bunbury, the manager of the London Players.

The children, who sing and take a number of the roles in the radio play, include Madeline Jewell (who plays the Star Child), Julia Miles, Natalie Miles, Tyler Miles, Maryn Pernesky, Ozzie Shaffer, and Emmett Walzer. The stage manager is Erin Stoops.

The play that the radio personnel and children perform is loosely adapted from Oscar Wilde’s short story, "The Star Child."

A basket raffle with more than 40 prizes will also be conducted during the run of the show, with all proceeds going to the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County.

Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information or to make special arrangements for groups of 12 or more, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-983-2836.