THOMPSON, OHIO — Thompson Square Community Theater will present two plays, Mr. Toad’s Mad Adventures, and The Reluctant Dragon over the course of August, 2021. Both plays, adapted from books by Kenneth Grahame, will be performed outdoors first at Lake Erie College in Painesville and then at Thompson United Methodist Church in Thompson. Mr. Toad’s Mad Adventures will run Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7 with Sunday, August 8 as a rain date. The Reluctant Dragon will run Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21 with Sunday, August 22 as a rain date. All performances are free and open to the public, although the theater accepts donations.
The cast and crew are all thrilled to be able to perform again after a year without theater. In the meantime, the theater met virtually and filmed socially distanced movies. But for these thespians, live theater was dearly missed.
Drake, 16, playing the boastful Charles in the Reluctant Dragon enthused, “I seriously wanted to do theater again. I am so happy! I hope people will notice that we put our best into the plays.”
Zoey Pranno, 12, who will portray the role of Ulrick in The Reluctant Dragon and a field mouse in Mr. Toad was also excited to return. “I was really happy to be back, because I missed the people who were doing theater and I really love it. In this play, it’s fun to play someone totally opposite of me. My character is sort of a bully, but not. I see her as a spoiled only child who has everything her way and wants things her way.”
Zoey isn’t the only one enjoying the chance to be a character opposite herself. Eden Wheeler, 17, is playing a weasel in Mr. Toad, as well as a nurse and a bargewoman. She’s just as excited to be hanging out with everyone in the theater as she is to get a chance to fight them on stage.
“It’s my first time playing a villain, which is really fun,” Eden said. “I learned how to stage punch.”
For some actors, the time since their last stage performance has led to new opportunities. Seri Buckner, now 10, has a chance to step up into a larger role than she’s had before. She will be playing Polly and a field mouse in Mr. Toad.
“I like that I get a bigger part,” Seri explained. “And I like that my character likes animals.
All of the actors are looking forward to their return to stage. Many of them, when asked why people should come see the performances, will simply say how much fun they are. Both plays are full of the quirky, British humor of author Kenneth Grahame. They are also full of heart and a few lessons to learn. Melody Marino, 16, playing Ermengarde in The Reluctant Dragon, shared her thoughts on the play.
“I hope for people to learn from our play not judge someone so quick just from where they came from,” she said. “To not dehumanize them by their race, religion, gender or tribe because we’re all deserving of kindness.”
The run time for each play is approximately one hour. Please contact Nadia Wheeler for more information at 440-417-8077 or visit the Thompson Square Community Theater Facebook page.
About Thompson Square Community Theater
Thompson Square Community Theater is a no-cut, welcoming theater based out of Thompson, Ohio at the Thompson United Methodist church. They have been performing for 17, and feature actors from all over the Geauga, Lake and Ashtabula county areas. This leads to a fun community of people from ages 7 to 70. All events are free and open to the public.