Theater in Sketch: CHARLOTTE’S WEB (Arden)

The Arden Theatre presents CHARLOTTE’S WEB November 28, 2018 to February 3, 2019. Last week, I had the chance to draw Anaya Strutz, who plays Charlotte. Shultz puts on an aerial silk performance to create the miraculous spider web that saves Wilbur.

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Circus arts creates a physical escape and the extremity of exploring our body’s possibilities opens our eyes to a bigger world. The length which an acrobat will go to find their place in the performance world simulates how we are capable of doing great deeds for a better world. The barn extends high above the stage, and Strutz makes her entrance from the catwalk above the stage in act two.

Arden Theatre Charlotte's Web

The structure of the wooden beams stretch across the entire stage. The story by E.B White captured the imagination of children and this performance brings it to life with a cirque inspired silks performance in the midst of the story. In the story, the friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur, played by Adam Howard, becomes the sensation at the county fair. The love of a pet and the ruthlessness of an animal slaughter farm mix together the concepts of life and death to bring out a love for life. Most of the time, our happy moments are when we bond with people we care about. The massive barn doors and the expansive stage with beams over head make the audience feel they are visiting Zuckerman’s pig farm. As if they were Fern Arable sitting on a stool in the barnyard listening to the animal’s conversations. The bond between Charlotte and Wilbur is a touching and angelic form of affection that looks at how we can make a difference in another person’s life.

charlottes_web3Strutz talked to us about her background in dance, and her pursuit in circus arts. The competitiveness of acrobats demands performers to find their own special talent. There is a desire to show our wildest dreams come true in the circus arts. There was a spark to Strutz, and it was her way of taking her character in a direction which captured the nature of a tiny aspect of a spider’s life with a warm heart. The natural environment of a farm is where humans, animals, or even smaller forms of life experience life together. The miracle of life could be in a spider’s web, a rat singing “Thats Amore”, or an acrobat flying from the rafters at Arden Children’s Theatre. Catch this cirque inspired adaptation of CHARLOTTE’S WEB because this show has something for everyone, big or small.

[Arden Theatre, 20 N. 2nd Street] November 28-February 3, 2018; ardentheatre.org

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