BETHANY, W.Va. – "Afternoon of the Elves" opens the Bethany Theatre season with performances set for Sept. 22-24 at 6 p.m. and Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. Luke Hardt, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts-Theatre, is directing the play by Y. York. Assistant Director is Krystal Robinson and Technical Director is Jenn Christenson. Performances will be held in the Bethany Amphitheater.

"Afternoon of the Elves" is based on the book by Janet Taylor Lisle. The play involves a fourth-grader, Hillary Lenox, who is invited by two popular girls, Jane and Allison, to join their group and become "the mighty three." With their generous guidance, Hillary will learn how to think, dress, and talk.

Sara Kate Connolly, who lives in a dilapidated house adjacent to Hillary's, has different plans for Hillary's future. Sara Kate wants Hillary to share in the wonder of the elf village that has mysteriously appeared in the Connolly's backyard.

Hillary discovers that Sara Kate's backyard hides not only an elf village but a terrible secret that takes on a life and horror of its own.

Cast members include:

Jane – Rachel Yakubik (understudy – Krystal Robinson)

Allison – Beth Ann Shaffer (understudy – Sally Mellring)

Hillary Lenox – Megan Riggs (understudy – Christina Snyder)
Sara Kate Connolly – Elizabeth Brewer

Mrs. Connolly – Brittany Homer

Mrs. Lenox – Megan Valentino

Mr. Lenox – Luke Luallin

Crew members include:

Stage Manager – Beth Patsch

Props/Set Construction – Sally Mellring

Scenic Assistants – Ryan Darrow and Daniel Lanigan

Costumes – Leah Mulheim

Artwork – Jeff Bee

The Elf Village was created by Professor Herb Weaver's Three Dimensional Design class.

Hardt said, "Although the central characters are children and there are moments of whimsy, this is by no means a typical children's play. Children under six might enjoy the outdoor setting and the fantasy of the elf scenes. Parents of children older than six might be moved to use this powerful play as a springboard to talk about compassion for the less fortunate."

Hardt suggests the audience bring their own seating for performances in the Amphitheater. In case of inclement weather, the performances will take place in the adjacent Wailes Theatre of Steinman Fine Arts Center.

Tickets are by donation. Please call 304-829-7124 for reservations.