Pinetree Players perform Snow White

WINNSBORO – Even if you have seen multiple versions of “Snow White,” the Pine Tree Playhouse’s presentation of the classic fairy tale will still give you a new experience.

For one thing, the dwarves have different names:  Gabby (who talks a lot); Snore (who likes to sleep); Ticklish (who likes to laugh). “The dwarves are a little different; as with any adaptation, you have to change some things up a little bit,” Dee Pullen, one of the directors of the play, said.

And, there are girl dwarves, cats, a fox and music.  There is still Snow White, of course, an apple, a wicked queen, a huntsman and a prince.

What you will also see is a young cast, drawn from kids and teens in the Fairfield County and Blythewood areas, excited about being on stage and learning theater craft.

This is only the second time Pullen has directed a summer children’s play, although as a teacher by training, she has lots of experience working with young children. Pullen started with playhouse six years ago and has learned as she went along. In getting a play to production, everybody in the theater just pitches in to help, she said.

“We are a really close-knit family as far as the board and the people in the theater go,” Pullen said.

The director typically choses which play to present, Pullen said, and the playhouse likes to do a musical in the summer because it draws a good crowd, and the children’s plays bring in the biggest audiences.  “We have a good group of kids that keep coming back year after year. My own kids have done the children’s plays for about six years now. For the past couple of years we have had a new influx of kids.  But kids do age out – they can audition for the children’s plays up to age 17 or 18.”

What are some of the challenges in working in community theater?

“Especially with a children’s play in the summer time, it’s a big commitment.” Pullen said. “We practice two to three days a week and two to three hours a day in the evening.  We are board members who also direct and we have full time jobs.”

It’s hard for parents to find the time to bring the children, and with different summer schedules, she said, last Monday was the first time she had her full cast together even though they have been practicing for this play since the first of May.

“It makes for a big challenge but it always pulls together,” Pullen said.

The 88-seat Pine Tree Playhouse started in 1972 and produces about five plays a year, totally with volunteer talent for all aspects of the production, from directing to costume making.  The theater is always seeking new blood and is asking anyone with an interest in community theatre to come by.  As Dee and her kids demonstrate, this can be a truly family project.  Not only are her daughters in the play but her son is in charge of sound effects.

“Snow White” is directed by Dee Pullen and Dori Brandenburg. Performances are at 8 p.m., Friday, July 21, Saturday, July 22 and at 3 p.m., Sunday 22. Tickets are $10. The theater is located at 230 S. Congress Street in Winnsboro. For information, call 635-6847.

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