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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014
The Sun

Burgess: ‘Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard’ nears stage


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Everyone remembers Old Mother Hubbard who went to her cupboard only to find it bare. When it’s opened in the upcoming Freedom Frolics stage show, “Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard,” all sorts of curious characters step out. The characters may be familiar, but they’ll be enjoying unfamiliar twists to their stories.

The premise is that some nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters are unhappy with their lots and wish for a rewrite. For example, Snow White hates keeping house for seven messy men; Cinderella wants two shoes; and Prince Charming seeks a romance enhancer. Mother Hubbard solves their problems at her R & R Resort, where characters get re-rhymed and rewritten. The entrance to her hideaway is through her cupboard door. Various characters visit Mother Hubbard, hilarity ensues and, as is always the case, everyone lives happily ever after.

This 22nd production of Freedom Frolics – an annual fundraiser for the Freedom Plaza Scholarship Fund – is slated for April 1-2, and preparations are now in full swing.

The cast of “Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard” will be large, since every resident who wants to be a part of the show is included. This is accomplished through what I call reverse casting. Instead of fitting people into a show, the show is fitted to the people involved. Additional characters are added or groups of characters expanded, as needed.

The method has made Freedom Frolics successful not only in generating funds but also in generating personal satisfaction for many residents.

A production such as Freedom Frolics could not be undertaken without the assistance of two important accomplices – the Freedom Plaza Woodworkers and Freedom Plaza Art League. These two resident groups create the stage set from its earliest diagrams to the finished product. The woodworkers construct the basic stage flats with the requisite doors, arches, towers, etc., and the artists paint the sets to represent the setting of the show. Both groups work on designing and making necessary stage props.

With cooperation from such a large contingent of residents, all directing their time and effort toward a worthwhile goal and having fun in the process, it’s no wonder Freedom Frolics has flourished for more than two decades.

Tickets for “Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard” are $10 and will go on sale to the public March 24. Orders may be placed via telephone at (813) 642-1213 or (813) 642-1214 for details.

Peggy Burgess is an associate of Freedom Plaza and columnist for The Sun.

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