Fall Play – “The Children’s Hour”

October 11, 2023


Fort Scott Community College again turns the spotlight on suicide prevention and awareness with the theater department’s fall play, “The Children’s Hour,” by Lillian Hellman.   “The story exists not only as a modern theater classic, but an opportunity to focus attention on a critical issue many members of today’s society struggle with,” said Allen Twitchell, FSCC theater instructor and the show’s director. “We are following up on last month’s suicide awareness walk, and are extremely grateful for the support of the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center.”   “The Children’s Hour” opens Thursday in the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center on the FSCC campus with additional performances Friday and Saturday. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome, Twitchell said. Hellman wrote the play in 1934 and co-wrote the script used for the 1961 film version starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner.   Featured in the FSCC cast is Jannell Robinson, guest artist from Scammon, who served as the college’s theater instructor from 2007-11 and directed the first show (“Once Upon a Mattress”) ever staged in the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center upon its completion in 2009. “Jannell is the Bette Davis of southeast Kansas,” Twitchell said. “She really elevates the standard and sets a great example for the students.” Also in the cast are Christina King, sophomore from Fort Scott; Tailynn Harding, graduate from Fort Scott; Heidi Clevenger, freshman from Drexel, Mo.; Nick Shelton, sophomore from Fort Scott; Ivy Bailey, sophomore from Fort Scott; Gia Dickey, freshman from Bronaugh, Mo.; Kinsley Davis, freshman from Fort Scott; and Isaiah Subbert, freshman from Casselberry, Fla.   Will Holliday, freshman from Mulberry, is the stage manager, with Jenna Stockstill, sophomore from Fort Scott, serving as costumer, and Braxton Ferrell, freshman from Fontana, and Clinton LaFollette, freshman from Passaic, Mo., as members of the stage crew. Joshua Ramsey, FSCC’s technical director/theater manager, is the light designer, and Zach Loper, former student from Girard, is on sound.   “We have a solid cast and crew,” said Twitchell. “Run time for the show is just under two hours, as it was written for theater audiences of the late 1930s, but the urgency of the characters really drives the story forward.” Assisting from the SEK Mental Health Center are Dawne Burchett, manager of prevention and promotion, and employees Linda Her, Abi Striler and Angel Brazeal.   The play will be held October 12th, 13th, and 14th at 7:30 P.M. at the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center. Admission is free and donations are welcome.