Students to present two-play repertory


The cast of “Sideways Stories from Wayside School.”

The cast of “Sideways Stories from Wayside School.” Courtesy

Published: 02-06-2024 2:42 PM

Students ages 8-13 in the Winnipesaukee Playhouse Education Department will present John Olive’s adaptation of Louis Sachar’s “Sideways Stories from Wayside School.” This production will take the stage along with 13-18 year old students’ production of “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play” by Anne Washburn with a score by Michael Friedman.

The productions will feature students from around the Lakes Region and will be presented in “rotating repertory,” an old theatre term sometimes abbreviated as “rotating rep” and referring to the presentation of multiple plays in a short alternating schedule. Audiences will have four chances to see each production and have two opportunities to see both shows in one day.

“Sideways Stories from Wayside School” is a wacky comedy based on Louis Sachar’s beloved book series and exploring the happenings at Wayside School. Just like in the novels, the Wayside School of this production is thirty stories high with only one classroom per story. Whether it’s teachers turning students into apples or the cow hiding in the classrooms, all is not normal at this mysterious school. It is directed by Patte Sarausky, a retired Belmont teacher and frequent Education Department director and instructor who says, “I think adults often don’t realize how capable the younger actors can be if given the chance to develop their own characters.”

“Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play” is a dark comedy in which a group of post-apocalyptic survivors make sense of an environment that no longer makes sense by recreating their vanished world through storytelling — some of it featuring Bart Simpson — turning the pop culture of our era into the mythology of the future. The production is directed by Cory Lawson, the Playhouse’s Director of Education and Community Engagement. He describes the play as “like no other” and says that it “asks us to consider the transformative power of shared narratives, especially in times of crisis.”

Both productions run Feb. 9 to 18. Tickets and more information, including the complete performance schedules of each production, are available by visiting or by calling 603-279-0333. The performances are generously sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental, Innisfree Bookshop, and New Hampton School.

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