WHEELING - Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre presents a special one-show only performance of "Aesop's (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables" at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 31.
Towngate actors bring to life five of Aesop's most beloved stories in a 45-minute whirlwind adventure that celebrates the moral lessons available in each of these charming tales.
"This wacky show is full of belly laughs for the whole family," said Towngate Theatre director Tim Thompson. "Aesop's tales get a hilarious, modern twist in this fast-paced show, which includes plenty of audience participation and lively, colorful characters. Learning lessons about life has never been so much fun."
Cast members of Oglebay Institute’s children’s show “Aesop’s (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables” include, left to right: Isa Campbell, Dana Applegate, Tim Thompson, Gretchen Schneider and Rick Call.
Providing children with a theater experience that not only entertains, but also teaches life lessons is one of the goals of Oglebay Institute's children's theatre, Thompson explained.
"Morals are always a part of our children's shows, but they are weaved into the story so that it doesn't seem like 'lesson time.' Children are being entertained and learning at the same time. It's kind of like eating food that is good for you but you don't know it."
Fables and morals in the show are:
The Boy Who Cried Wolf: Nobody believes a liar even when he tells the truth.
The Dog and The Bone: Be happy with what you have or you could lose everything.
The Tortoise and the Hare: Slow and steady wins the race.
The Lion and the Mouse: One good turn deserves another.
The Fox and the Grapes: People pretend to hate what they can't have.
Cast members, each of whom plays more than one role, include: Thompson, Rick Call, Isa Campbell, Gretchen Schneider and Dana Applegate.
Thompson said his favorite aspect of this show is that it takes fables from 3,000 years ago and makes them contemporary. "By slightly changing the settings, the dialogue and the characters, this show makes the fables relevant to today's world without losing the morals of the stories," he said.
Towngate Children's Theatre stages four productions each year. "Aesop's (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables" is the final show of the 2013-2014 season. The 2014-15 Children's Theatre lineup will be announced in late July.
In addition to children's theater productions, Towngate offers many other ways children can learn about theater including Saturday morning theater classes, summer day camps, field trips and in-school workshops.
For more information on theater activities or to purchase tickets for "Aesop's (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables," call 304-242-7700 or visit Oglebay Institute on the web at
Towngate Theatre is located at 2118 Market St., Wheeling. For those buying seats at the door, Towngate's box office opens one hour before the show. Refreshments are available for purchase.