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Jack and the Bean Stalk & The Two-Headed Ogre

Members of the University of New Hampshire theater troupe perform in Jack and the Beanstalk and the Two-Headed Ogre as part of the Upton Town Library's Summer Reading Program.

Sunny skies, clear weather and a slight breeze made for a perfect evening for 178 children and their families to pull up lawn chairs or blankets, enjoy some refreshments and a outdoor theater performance put on by The Little Red Wagon, the University of Hew Hampshire theater troupe, on the back lawn of Nipmuc Regional High School.

Sponsored by The Friends of the Upton Town Library, the June 30 performance, the fifth by the group in Upton, was part of the Upton Town Library's summer reading program. In order to help defray the cost of this program, the Friends of the Library held a refreshment sale during the play. 

Jack and the Beanstalk and the Two-Headed Ogre kicked off with an exchange between Jack and his cow Milky-white that was sadly no longer producing milk and had to be sold. Jack exchanged Milky-white for five beans from an enterprising salesman who happened along. "Take the five, trust me it is a good deal," the salesman said to Jack. "I am offering you not one, not two but five beans for the cow and these aren't your run-of-the-mill beans; they are magic beans." From there the tale goes on with Jack climbing the magic beanstalk and fending off the two-headed ogre to reclaim what turns out to be rightfully his – some gold and a goose that lays golden eggs and his good fortune allows him to buy back his beloved Milky-white from the salesman.

The Little Red Wagon performers engaged their audience with slapstick comedy and exaggerated animation using the entire stage as well as audience area for the show. One of the features that make this performance group so special is their ability to pull the kids into the story by encouraging children in the audience to yell out clues, weigh in on choices as well as offer guidance or help for instance encouraging them to shout out the cow is right behind you when Jack could not find Milky-White.

The cast also welcomed children to ask questions after the show. Many were curious about how the costumes, some of which were quite elaborate, were made as well as if the golden egg was real, to which they responded that no unfortunately it was just painted!


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