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NLA's 'Winnie the Pooh,' 'Honk Jr.' open Thursday

Whereas Woodbury and East Ridge high schools are targeting the classics with this year's spring plays, New Life Academy is targeting a different audience - children.

NLA will be performing a double feature of children's plays this weekend - "Winning the Pooh" and "Honk Jr."

"This year we are targeting the elementary audience," theater director Carole Brumley said.

The plays will run April 25-28.

"Winnie the Pooh" is the story of the title character, who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood and has a love of honey.

A misread note from Christopher Robin, one of Pooh's friends, throws the woods into an uproar because they are worried the "Backsons" will get them.

"Honk Jr." is the story of the "Ugly Duckling." The main character Ugly is mocked and teased because he is different.

The play is about his search for identity and where he fits in. It is also a story of forgiveness and reconciliation between Ugly and those who were mean to him.

"I wanted to explore animal characters this year for a change and take my students into the world of pretend and imagination," Brumley said. "The story lines of both shows are just so wonderful."

"Winnie the Pooh" posed some challenges for Brumley this year since the cast was responsible for their own costumes, "which is kind of scary for the director," she said.

Additionally, Brumley said having the set built by students, and used for both plays, has been a challenge.

With "Honk Jr." the biggest challenge was needing students to play multiple roles.

"'Honk Jr.' is really made for a large cast," she said. "It has been a challenge to make each of their characters seem distinctly different from each other."

Brumley said audience can expect two fun shows for one.

"Audiences will enjoy everything," she said.

"Winnie the Pooh" and "Honk Jr." will be performed April 25-27 at 7 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets will be available at the door.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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