The Woodstock North High School Theatre program got a much more pleasant surprise than the Ghost of Christmas Past after a supporter wrote to the author of the book that the school’s fall production is based on.
Shannon Martin, member of Friends of the WNHS Theatre, emailed Mary Pope Osborne, author of “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens,” requesting an autographed book that they could auction at the theater fundraiser.
“Not only did she send us a signed copy of her book but a $1,000 check for Woodstock North High School Theatre! She wrote a beautiful handwritten note stating she was moved by WNHS Theatre's passion for promoting theatre for the youth in our community,” Martin said.
The story is about main characters Jack and Annie’s tree house visit to Victorian London where they learn about the importance of charity and kindness after meeting author Charles Dickens.
Students have been rehearsing for WNHS’s 8th Theatre for Young Audiences show over the past weeks. Opening night will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the Woodstock North Performing Arts Center with a character meet and greet.
Sue Lewis, theater technical director, said students were thrilled when they learned about Osboune’s donation.
“Out of all the schools in all the US and all the professional troupes that perform her amazing show, she chose us,” Lewis said. “Needless to say, the entire WNHS Theatre program, students and adults included, had goosebumps that day.”
Performances will also be held Nov. 9 at Holiday Give Back Night, when theater goers are asked to bring canned goods for the Woodstock Food Pantry or new or used children’s books for Home of the Sparrow. Other performances are planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 15, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 16. A holiday ornament and hot cocoa party will be held at 1 p.m. prior to the matinee show.