You may think you know Snow White’s story, a tale of a jealous queen who orders the
murder of her innocent stepdaughter. Or you can recite Cinderella’s trials, a troubled
heroine living in unfortunate circumstances. But this year’s holiday pantomime at
Waterworks Players makes a delightfully different take in which the worlds of fairytale
and TV science fiction collide, boldly going where no panto has gone before in Andrew
Yates’ It’s A Panto Jim…But Not As We Know It.
As a beloved form of theatre in the British Isles, pantomimes are melodramatic
presentations of familiar nursery rhymes or children’s tales that combine song, dance, and
Mary Jo Stockton, director of this year’s production, notes that the “Show isn’t a quiet
and polite theatre-going experience. Rather the audience, ranging in age from two to
eighty, interacts with the cast – sometimes in planned events, sometimes in spontaneous
reactions – throughout the performance.” The actors expect and encourage this back-and-
forth interaction. In some productions, the story villain will squirt the audience with water
guns, while other cast members might throw candy to children.
Part of the charm for older audience members is that these shows include jokes based on
current events and local connections. Notes Stockton, “We edit the script to keep jokes
current and to tailor dialogue for our community.”
This year’s panto joins the crew of Spaceship Centipede, commanded by Captain James
T. Nerk (Greg Tsigaridas) and assistants Mr. Knock (Erik Varela), Mr. Snot (Jordan
Whiley), and Lt. Hula Hula (Carrie Boswell). They interrupt their hundred year mission
to help seven dwarfs (Krishon Preston, Penelope Dorsey, Charlotte Trant, Anna Stinson,
Grace Dodson, Natalie Aldridge, and Jeanne Strunk) wake Snow White (Catherine
Franssen). They encounter a wicked queen (Sherri Davenport) and Prince Charming
(Christian Huggard), but also meet Cinderella (Laura Boyett) and her two ugly step-
sisters (Christy Moore and Leigh Lunsford).
The cast also includes an ensemble of memorable characters including singing mice
(Kailynn Hamilton, Carrington Detrick, Evelyn Johnson), Cookie (Craig Dodson), Chips
(Katherine Lusk), several kids (Katie Dodson, Elle Franssen), and a frightful jailer (John
Will Captain Nerk be able to resist the charms of the Wicked Queen? Will Snow White
ever wake up? Will true love save the day? The only way to know for sure is to get your
tickets before the clock strikes twelve!
Performances are Friday (November 30th ) at 7 pm, Saturday (December 1 st ) at 2 pm and 6
pm, and Friday (December 7th ) at 7 pm, and Saturday (December 8th ) at 2 pm and 6 pm.
Tickets are $5 for everyone. Tickets can be purchased online at
https://waterworksplayers.org/buytickets or call 434-392-3452.