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University Relations

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Feb. 4, 2005
Contact: Charla Jenkins, University Theatre, (785) 864-2684.

KU Theatre for Young People to stage 'Noodle Doodle Box' in February

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas Theatre for Young People will present Paul Maar's "Noodle Doodle Box" at 1 p.m. Feb. 7 through 11 and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall.

" Noodle Doodle Box" is being staged as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of KU-TYP, which performed the play during the 1989 season while celebrating its 35th anniversary.

KU theatre alumna Beate Pettigrew, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and at Johnson County Community College, directs the current production. She received a master's degree in theatre and film from KU in 1983.

Scenic and lighting design is by Jennifer Stimple, Lawrence senior. Costume designer is Jessica Cook, Lawrence senior. Choreography is by Scott Stackhouse, an adjunct theatre faculty member at Johnson County Community College.

In the play, Zacharias, a female actor, and Pepper, a male actor, are clowns who live and play in two different-sized boxes. Zacharias calls Pepper a "pig," "camel" and "big mouth" because she feels superior to him -- she is tall neat, and clean, and Pepper is short, messy and loud. She teases him for not being able to read and hits him with a newspaper. She shows how her box is better than his box and won't let Pepper play in it. So Pepper plays alone in his box, discovering it has one big arm and one small arm. Now Zacharias wants to play in Pepper's box, but he won't let her. Pepper decides to control Zacharias the way she did with him, and they end up arguing all over again.

Jeanne Klein, associate professor of theatre and director of the KU children's theatre program, said the play is important for children to experience because bullying continues to be a challenge today.

" The play shows children why they need to be nice to other people, to respect individual differences and to share their belongings," Klein said. "When friends don't treat each other with respect and stick together, their possessions may be taken away from them."

Klein and actors from "Noodle Doodle Box" are available to visit first-, second- and third-grade classes of students who have attended the production. A free one-hour drama workshop with actors is intended to extend the play's themes about bullying and friendship, to encourage students to role-play analogous situations, and to answer questions about this production and theatre. Teachers may contact Erika Crane at (785) 864-5576 to schedule a classroom visit.

The weekday performances of "Noodle Doodle Box" are staged for first-, second- and third-graders of the Lawrence and Douglas County schools, although the public also can attend these shows.

Reserved-seat tickets for any performance of "Noodle Doodle Box" are on sale in the KU ticket offices: University Theatre, (785) 864-3982, the Lied Center, (785) 864-ARTS, and online at Public tickets are $10, tickets for all students are $5, and senior citizen and KU faculty and staff tickets are $9.

Klein said the play will be most appreciated by families with children ages five and up.

KU students taking part in the production are listed below by hometown, name, year in school, major, parents' names, high school attended and role.

From Lawrence
Jessica Cook, senior in theatre design, daughter of Stephanie Cook; Topeka High School; costume design.
From Lawrence and Des Moines, Iowa
Jennifer Stimple, senior in theatre design, daughter of Otto and Brenda Stimple, Des Moines, Iowa; Roosevelt High School, Des Moines; scenic and lighting design.

From Overland Park
Alex Haynes, freshman in pre-medicine and theatre and film, son of Martin Haynes and Patricia Thomas; Blue Valley Northwest High School; Pepper.

From Shawnee
Niccole Thurman, senior in pre-education and pre-journalism, daughter of Amy Thurman; Shawnee Mission North High School; Zacharias.

From Downers Grove
Meg Saricks, sophomore in communication studies and in theatre and film, daughter of Chris and Joyce Saricks; Community High School District 99 South High School; Drum Major.

From Des Moines and Lawrence, Kan.
Jennifer Stimple. See Douglas County, Kan.


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