WATERLOO — Oliver Treloar is having a “super fun” time playing “Pinocchio” in the opening of the Black Hawk Children’s Theater production on Friday.
Treloar, 14, describes the troublesome wooden puppet with the long nose as a “bad boy at the start and by the end he’s completely changed. You can see the change in the character as you go.
“I read the book, I’m a fan of the movie and being able to play the role of Pinocchio is probably one of the best experiences I’ve had,” enthused Treloar, who will be in second year at the school. Cedar Falls secondary this fall.
A veteran BHCT actor, he has appeared on such shows as “Junie B. Jones”, “School of Rock” and “The Night Before Christmas”.
Friday’s performance will be at 7 p.m. on the Hope Martin Theater stage at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial St. Shows will continue at 7 p.m. on June 17 and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and June 18.
Treloar appears in nearly every scene, said director Bonnie Ruble. “He has almost 300 lines in the script. He’s really great, a really fun kid and a really funny actor,” she said.
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Ruble, from Cedar Falls, is making her directorial debut at BHCT. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in theater production, she works frequently as a freelance stage manager and joined Waterloo Community Playhouse as production manager. “It’s a challenge to step out of my comfort zone and try something as big as directing an entire show. I loved the idea of trying something new,” she said. Explain.
Pinocchio is considered one of the most reinvented characters in children’s literature. “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, written as a cautionary tale by Italian author Carlo Collodi, was originally published in 1883. It has been adapted many times for stage and screen. Walt Disney’s 1940 film gave Pinocchio a sense of childlike innocence and is still considered one of the best Disney animated films ever made.
Disney is remaking the film as the live-action film “About A Boy,” directed by Robert Zemeckis from a screenplay he co-wrote. It will stream on Disney+ starting September 8.
BHCT’s version was adapted for children’s theater by playwright John Baldwin Jr. Glissandra the Blue Fairy (Gena Koinzan) tells the story and, along with her elves, guides and encourages Pinocchio. Ruble likes the message of the piece.
“Pinocchio does stupid things like children do and he is told that it is okay to make mistakes. As long as you are true to yourself, things will be fine,” he said. she declared.
There are 15 cast members between the ages of 9 and 17 and two adults. The minimal stage has a storybook quality, including a wooded forest on the proscenium, screen projections, lights, and sound.
“I want kids, families, to watch the show and think about their favorite story or movie and feel those memories, reminisce in their minds as they watch the play. Things look different when you’re a kid – brighter and bigger, cooler, and the acting and the story should portray those childhood memories,” Ruble added.
FORUM Performances at the Waterloo Community Playhouse