For the 10th consecutive year, the Weatherford College Touring Theatre Troupe presents their annual children’s production to the public this weekend in the Alkek Fine Arts Center.
“The Three Little Pigs,” written by WC’s Joe Nicikowski, is geared specifically for young audiences and admission is free. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, and 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.
Nicikowski approached the classic children’s story from the perspective of a group of actors who are supposed to produce an entirely different theatre show but can’t due to missing props, missing costumes and missing voices.
“So they let the wheel of destiny decide on the what show they will try, and it happens to be ‘The Three Little Pigs,’” he said. “I guess the main difference between our version and the traditional telling of the story is that instead of a wolf we have the big bad cat, because they can’t find the wolf costume, but they do have a cat costume. Will the story be the same one you know… probably not, but, basically, yes? But I don’t like spoilers so that’s all I’m willing to tell.”
The show will last approximately 45 minutes.
After this weekend’s debut, the Touring Theatre Troupe will take the show on the road to local elementary schools. This annual tour was established by Nicikowski 10 years ago after realizing some local schools didn’t have the funds to bring their students to see morning productions at the college.
“I also was made aware that students in said schools really didn’t get the chance to experience the joys of watching a live theatre show tailored just for them,” he said. “I wanted to find a way to bring the theatre to the schools.”
With a background in touring theater and children’s productions, Nicikowski approached the WC Board of Trustees to make his idea a reality at no cost to the elementary schools.
“I was extremely delighted when the board approved my Troupe program, and we have been going strong ever since,” he said. “And with the college’s full support it is still free to as many schools as we can get to.”
Ten years later, Nicikowski is delightfully surprised that the Troupe continues. “To say that I am overjoyed is an understatement,” he said.
Adding to that joy is the realization that one of this year’s actors recalls watching the troupe perform “Rumplestiltskin” at their school during the troupe’s first year in existence.
Nicikowski is also looking forward to meeting a current high school student who wrote a letter to him when she was in fourth grade about how much she enjoyed the troupe’s production of the “Emperor’s New Clothes.”
“This letter hangs on my wall as a reminder and inspiration of why I started this troupe and why I keep it going,” he said. “I am very anxious to meet her and find out what she remembers of the troupe and how much stayed with her over the years.
“These two things are examples of how the small idea I started all those years ago has touched people that I have later met in my life. I hope to have many more moments like these.”