“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” These are the renowned words by E. B White in the book of “Charlotte’s Web,” a story of true friendship. Throughout this memorable story are words and descriptions that have, over time, become notable quotes. “Charlotte’s Web” was named “the best children’s book of the past two hundred years” by the Children’s Literature Association.
In 1983, the award winning playwright, Jospeh Robinette working with the advice of E.B White, wrote a play that captures the spirit of this classic tale, and retains much of its wonderful language. It continues to be performed all over the world by professional companies and youth groups.
All the notable characters are present, there is Wilbur, the young pig that wants desperately to avoid the butcher, and Fern, the girl who is able to understand what animals are saying. The farm’s resident sheep and geese give Wilbur advice and encouragement, and Templeton, the sarcastic, gluttonous rat, succumbs to performing some good deeds. Charlotte, the spider, is the true unrecognized heroine of the story, as it is her woven work and unconditional friendship that saves Wilbur. The Arables, Zuckermans, and Lurvy are very believable characters in a practical farming community, they are convinced that “a miracle has happened on this farm,” when Charlotte writes words in her web describing Wilbur’s attributes. They decide to show Wilbur at the county fair, where his final fate will be decided.
The Grade 5/6 class of Sunfield Waldorf School enjoyed reading the book when they were in a younger grade, and they have been eagerly anticipating the year when they would be able to put on this delightful play. The students work with the animals of Sunfield Biodynamic Farm on a daily basis, and are able to relate well to both the nature of the farm animals and the work of the farm. The excitement of the county fair is also something familiar, as many of the students join 4H to work with Sunfield’s sheep and goats through the summer and show them at the Jefferson County Fair. Every one of the twenty students of the class has a role. For fun, a few of the classic songs from the movie of Charlotte’ Web are woven into the action, accompanied by one of the students on the piano.
The play, is appropriately being performed in the historic Chimacum Grange hall, 9572 Rhody Drive, opposite Chimacum Schools. Performances are on April 27, 28 and 29, Friday and Saturday at 6:30p.m. and Sunday matinee at 11:00a.m. A donation of $10 is suggested to cover performance costs, but everyone is welcome to offer what they can. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.