Theater to stage public performances

Robert Smith
The Constantine Theater’s fall stage production for both school and public audiences is “Puss in Boots” this year. Shown here are Kara Hilyard as the king and Marleigh McKinley as the queen. Public performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10. Tickets are $5 if purchased in advance and $7 at the door. Photo courtesy of the Constantine Theater

The Constantine Theater, 110 West Main Street, plans to offer public performances this weekend of its annual fall stage play that is presented to both school groups and the general public. Show times will be 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The show this year is “Puss in Boots,” and it is a humorous retelling of the classic tale. The Pawhuska show has a cast of 14, including a small role as the king’s coachman for director Garrett Hartness, and the ages of cast members range from about 11 to 70. The play lasts for about an hour.

“It’s a really cute production for people of all ages,” Hartness said. “It’s got a good storyline for all ages.”

The basic story is that of a young man who wants to inherit the family mill when his father dies, but his assertive, some might say “bossy,” elder sister inherits it, instead.

The boy, Tom, is left with a cat. The cat promises Tom that if the young man provides him with a pair of boots, he (the cat) will make Tom a fortune. The cat has adventures, meets the king and queen and their lovely daughter, and overcomes the opposition of a “great ogre,” who eats trees and keeps prisoners in a dungeon, where he feeds them oyster crackers.

This is the 11th year for the Constantine Theater’s in-house dramatic group, using local talent, to offer a fall show. The shows are made available to school groups that come during the instructional day, and to the general public.

Four school performances were set this year, two on Tuesday of this week and two more on Thursday.

Cast members include: Misty Hull, Anthony Avallone, Karolina Rain Cole, Mersadez Gibson, Gigi Sieke, Kylee Avallone, Noah Hoyt, Samuel Shaw, Kelcie Avallone, Garrett Hartness, Alma Hull, Kara Hilyard, Marleigh McKinley and Kaylor Cheves.

Hartness said ticket prices for “Puss in Boots” will be $5 for advance tickets and $7 for tickets purchased at the door. He mentioned the Osage County Historical Museum on Lynn Avenue and the Pierce Arrow store on Kihekah Avenue as places to check for advance tickets.

The Constantine Theater began offering plays for local school classes to view 29 years ago, using non-local talent for the first 18 years. Hartness says the use of local talent is an important element of the activity. He made the case that even if theater isn’t really an interest for you, it’s important to come out and support local talent (especially youngsters) who perform in these shows.

The Constantine, located right in the heart of downtown Pawhuska, offers a variety of cultural enrichment opportunities, as well as chances to have some family fun.

For instance, the theater showed the movie “The Wizard of Oz” a week prior to Halloween this year and had people on-hand in costume as some of the film characters. Even though the weather was poor the evening of Oct. 24 and there were other activities in Pawhuska that afternoon and evening, 69 people attended, Hartness said.

“I think a lot of people came just to see it on the big screen,” Hartness said. He anticipates the showing of “The Wizard of Oz” will become an annual event.