Photo Flash: First Look at STONE SOUP: A WRAP OPERA at WSU's Summer Children's Theatre, Beg. Today

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The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance presents its 2nd annual season of Summer Children's Theatre, this season featuring a hip-hop reimagining of the folktale classic, Stone Soup. Scroll down for a first look at the cast onstage!

Told in variations across many cultures, Stone Soup is a folktale in which an outsider persuades an ungenerous and suspicious town's people to provide them with food. Here, a tramp using nothing but his wits, some wiliness, and a stone gets a group of battling siblings to cooperate, together accomplishing what they could not achieve individually. This story has been presented in many ways by many cultures.

Here, Stone Soup: A Wrap Opera re-tells the tale in the language of urban America...hip-hop and rap, reaching out to students of the 21st century using their own form and style. According to Wolf, "Wayne State University is uniquely situated to reach the children of Detroit. Creating the Hip-hop version of Stone Soup provides a fun, contemporary, and accessible path to these students."

The cast includes Brad Smith (Waterford, MI) as "The Tramp," Jada Johnson (Lawrenceville, GA) as "Sister 1," Samantha York (Dearborn, MI) as "Sister 2," Garett Harris (Royal Oak, MI) as "Brother ," Tayler Jones (Detroit, MI) as "Sister 3," and Madison Miller (Howell, MI) as "Sister 4."

The creative team includes director John Wolf (Detroit, MI), choreographer Basira Norris (Deford, MI), production manager Courtney Rasor (New Orleans, LA), set designer Tonae Mitsuhashi (Yokkaichi, Mie, Japan), costume designer Mary Gietsen (Warren, MI), lighting designer Michael Hallberg (Fraser, MI), sound designer Heather DeFauw (Fraser, MI), and stage manager Lyndee Hallahan (Warren, MI).

The production will play at the Hilberry Theatre today, June 19, and June 20, June 26, and June 27 at 10:30 a.m. and on June 21, June 28, and June 29 at 2:00 p.m., providing an opportunity for children of all ages to enjoy Stone Soup: A Wrap Opera. Stone Soup: A Wrap Opera began touring free-of-charge to Detroit Public Schools on May 14, 2014. The 40-minute show will reach over 6,500 students at 25 different schools by June 25.

The tour to Detroit Public Schools is part of an ongoing commitment to educational outreach by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. According to Wolf, "It is vital to keep the arts alive in the minds and imaginations of young people. The cuts in education budgets have resulted in the removal of imagination-enhancing classes. Bringing Stone Soup: A Wrap Opera to school children does not replace these important classes, but it is a step forward to enhancing the creative thinking of these children."

Individual Tickets are $5 for children and $8 for adults. There is a $5 per ticket price for groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at 313-577-2972, online at www.wsushows.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue, on the corner of Cass and Hancock. The summer Box Office hours are Tuesday - Friday from 10 - 2 p.m. The box office will be open one hour prior to all performances. Performance information and tickets may also be obtained by visiting the Theatre's websites at www.wsushows.com.

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