San Jacinto College to present ‘Stories,’ a collection of childhood tales

02.26.2016 | By Rob Vanya

The San Jacinto College South Campus theatre department will present “Stories,” a collection of dramatized childhood tales, at the Marie Flickinger Fine Arts Center, located the San Jacinto College South Campus. Admission is free, and the show, which runs March 8 through March 12, with a 7 p.m. curtain each night, is open to the public .

South Campus theatre professor Kevin Holden says “Stories” offers fun, adventure, and lively entertainment for children of all ages, and for adults who are young at heart. “It’s not your typical full-length play based on one plot, but rather, as the name implies, a collection of short stories that are centered on childhood and children,” Holden commented. “Some of the stories are dramatizations of classic children tales, and some are based on original scripts written by San Jacinto College students about some of their childhood experiences.”

Holden describes the show as G-rated and family-friendly. There will be fun activities for children before the show starts and during intermission.

Co-directors for “Stories” are theatre instructors MJ Emig and Kevin Jones. Emig directs the “traditional” children tales, while Jones directs the “contemporary” student-produced tales.

The five traditional tales are “The Frog Prince,” “Bremen Town Musicians,” “The Fisherman and His Wife,” “The Golden Goose,” and “Rumpelstiltskin.”

“I chose these particular tales because they are universally familiar, but not so familiar that our audience would expect a Disney experience,” Emig commented. “We have princesses and enchanted characters, but the stage treatment is purely children’s theatre.”

The cast and crew add some spontaneity to the time-honored tales. “A good part is improvisational,” Emig said. “I created a script, I gave it to the actors to memorize. And as we rehearsed, the actors – as they created the characters – added lines that grew out of their stage behavior. As they improvised and played off of one another, lines – usually funny ones – evolved and were added to the script.”

Emig admittedly is a child at heart. “I don’t think you can have a life in the theatre if you’re not,” she quipped.

For the “contemporary” part of the show, co-director Jones selected 15 student-authored stories, all of which are based on true childhood experiences. “We added fun, fantastical twists to some of the scripts to make them more theatrical,” commented Jones. “There is one simple fight scene, and some people turn into fish and kind of swim-walk around. Some things we go through as kids are scary, so there are some stories that are about scary moments that turn out all right in the end, usually with the help of family. I hope the show helps adults remember all the cool things they used to think of when they were children. I hope it brings some of that feeling of whimsy back for them. I’m very proud of the students, and the stories they wrote.”

Like Emig, Jones says he is kind of a kid at heart. “I definitely like to play with the new Star Wars toys,” he said.

To learn more about San Jacinto College theatre and film programs, please visit sanjac.edu/career/theatre-film.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.