Courage, friendship and standing up to intimidation are the powerful themes in “Wolf Hollow,” a haunting tale of a young girl, a bully and a veteran which will premiere on Friday, April 13 at The Cape Cod Theatre Comapany/Harwich Junior Theatre (CCTC/HJT).
“Wolf Hollow” is truly a local production in every sense of the word, adapted for the stage by local playwright Susan Kosoff from the Newbery Award-winning book, “Wolf Hollow” by Lauren Wolk, associate director of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth.
Annabelle, age 12, lives a quiet, small town life until mean-spirited new student Betty arrives. Betty's bullying goes from bad to worse when she sets her sights on Toby, a kind, reclusive World War I veteran. Can Annabelle rise to the challenge and face cruelty with compassion?
CCTC/HJT Artistic Director Nina Schuessler and author Wolk are friends, which makes the production of “Wolf Hollow” into a true labor of love.
“Lauren is someone I deeply admire. She is a beautiful writer and artist,” Schuessler said, “and playwright Sue Kosoff, who adapted 'Wolf Hollow' for the stage, is someone I have long admired as a dramatist. She has mentored me for many years and she was a student of Betty Bobp, our founder. I wanted to put Lauren and Sue together to bring this story from page to stage. I love the book so much. The themes are important for kids and adults, in saying that having a conscience and moral compass is a very good thing. It's life affirming.”
Schuessler explained that the story touches her in a very personal way. As a young girl of 14, Schuessler volunteered in her mother's occupational and art therapy department at the Brockton VA. “So Annabelle's friendship with a veteran resonated with me,” Schuessler said. “She is bullied and is able to muster the courage to take a stand while also coming to the defense of a man, Toby, whom she cares about. It's a wholesome friendship. Toby has PTSD and is an army vet from WWI. He protected her when she was vulnerable against Betty, the antagonist.”
Ella Adamsons, age 11, of Harwich is a member of the “Wolf Hollow” youth company. This will be her second CCTC/HJT show after “Charlotte's Web.” She said that she is enjoying her time at rehearsal.
“I really like it. I think it's really coming along,” she said. “I like that even though it is a serious story, there is humor in it. Working with Nina is awesome. She is really nice. The book is good, and even though I usually read a lot of books that include magic or fantasy, this book takes place in the real world and it is intriguing. It's really good. I suggest it.”
The cast includes Nell Hamilton as Annabelle (Scout in CCTC/HJT’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”); Madison Mayer (Anne in “Anne of Green Gables”) as Betty, the antagonist; Jane Staab as the adult Annabelle and narrator; Dick Morrill as Toby, a World War I veteran; Jade Schuyler and David Wallace as Annabelle’s parents Sarah and John McBride; and Jack Kerig as the Constable. The ensemble includes veteran Cape actors Lou Maloof, Susie Davis, Karen Santos, Dianne Wadsworth and Ed Coppola, plus a youth company featuring Steve Carter, Ella Adamsons, Edrian Wright and Jack Credit. CCTC/HJT Artistic Director Nina Schuessler directs this production with James P. Byrne, Scenic and Lighting Design; Fran Corvais Lautenberger, Costume Design; J Hagenbuckle, Music and Sound Design; and Marybeth Travis, Properties Design.
“Wolf Hollow” will run April 13 to May 13, with an opening night reception featuring the book's author, Wolk. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m.; Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. April School Vacation matinees are on April 17, 18 and 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth under 21 years of age. For tickets, call 508-432-2002, or visit www.capecodtheatrecompany.org.
At The Cape Cod Theatre Comapany/Harwich Junior Theatre
For tickets, call 508-432-2002, or visit www.capecodtheatrecompany.org.