Tri-State Theater

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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Bringing Pinocchio to the Stage in "Without Strings"

   Huntington’s long-time children’s theatre - First Stage Theatre Company - has a new show taking the stage this weekend, and it's being directed by one of its (former) kids!

   Zach Davis acted in First Stage plays while growing up and he continues to appear on stage regularly for other companies. He has also directed shows for several different community theatre companies.

   Now he’s sitting in the director’s chair with First Stage’s next show, Without Strings, being presented this weekend at Huntington Middle School’s auditorium.

   The show tells the story of Pinocchio, the marionette who is magically brought to life - but must prove he’s worthy before he can become a real boy. So he’ll have to endure a series of adventures, make new friends and survive an encounter with a monster of the deep.

    The story has been one of Zach’s favorites for a long time. He said, “Who doesn't love a story about Pinocchio? I grew up on variations of his story. My mother always told me my nose would grow like Pinocchio’s if I told lies and for some time I was terrified - I had to be the most honest kid in the world. This particular version is different than one expects but has similarities - with a twist.”

    When First Stage was planning its 26th season last year, Zach proposed making room on the schedule for Without Strings, a non-musical that features a cast of more than 30 young actors from the Tri-state area.

   “Directing for First Stage is a huge honor for me. I grew up on stage with the company, although it was late in my school days. I learned so much from the directors, staff,  and made such amazing friends. When the opportunity arose for a chance to take the helm, I couldn't pass it up. I get to finally give back and mentor young actors like I received from my time with First Stage. We are a family - it is just an endless circle that I am proud to be part of.”

    This is the second time First Stage has presented the story of Pinocchio - the last time was 16 years ago, before most of the cast of the new version were even born.

   It’s a fun, fast-paced show that offers a new take on the classic tale - and it’s one audiences will love. Zach said, “This version of Pinocchio is unlike anything you have seen before. We start in the ‘Real World’ where a boy finds himself auditioning to travel with Professor Pinecone’s traveling puppet theatre. We watch him change into Pinocchio and watch him enter a storybook world. It has unique characters and twists in every scene. I have had so much fun with this show and I’m so proud of my young cast. You don’t want to miss out on this quirky adventure!”

   First Stage Theatre Company presents Without Strings, which is based on Carlo Collodi's “The Adventures of Pinocchio” as written by Patrick Rainville Dorn. It will be staged on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m. at Huntington Middle School at 925 3rd Street in Huntington. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children (12 and under) and senior citizens. 

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