Batman Smells!

Junie B. Jones to visit Children’s Theatre

Tuesday Wustrack, photos by Andrea Paulseth

The cast of Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!  Kids and their parents can come to the theater before the select shows on December 8 and 15 to enjoy holiday treats, games and crafts with Junie B.
The cast of Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! Kids and their parents can come
to the theater before the select shows on December 8 and 15 to enjoy holiday treats,
games and crafts with Junie B.

With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are heading to Christmas concerts, shows and parties and leaving the kids with babysitters for the evening. But there is a play that is coming to town that is not only aimed at the kids’ entertainment but includes their peers in the production as well.

This December, the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre will be putting on “Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” This play is adapted from Junie B. Jones, a popular children’s book series written by Barbara Park. In Junie B.’s first grade class, everyone is excited to draw names for Secret Santa until she pulls out Tattletale May’s name, a girl she doesn’t really care for. While disappointed, Junie B. decides to put her energy towards giving May the perfect gift, with a little side of revenge.

“Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” was originally one of Park’s books and was rewritten for the stage by Allison Gregory, a playwright who originally wrote the adaptation for her theatre group in Texas. It is now performed all over the United States, said director of the Eau Claire production, Wayne Marek.

Kids around the Chippewa Valley will be excited for the production.

“We usually offer some type of holiday show in December,” Marek said. “The Junie B. Jones series of books is very popular, and this is an excellent adaption of the book.”

Kids will not only enjoy the show for recognizing the story line, but they might also notice and connect to the young actors in the show. The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre’s production includes eight young actors ranging from ages 7-18.

Having a children’s theatre is valuable for the community, said Marek.

“Participating in live theater helps kids learn important life skills,” he said. Thoseinclude teamwork, commitment, responsibility and confidence that can be applied to any situation in their lives.

“It also provides a creative outlet for both kids and adults, either as on stage performers or backstage crew members,” he said.

To add to the excitement and holiday cheer, kids and their parents can come to the theater before the show on Dec. 15 to enjoy holiday treats, games and crafts with

Junie B. at the “Junie B.’s Jingle Bell Blast.” Tickets cost $5 per person and does not include the show tickets.

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! will be showing December 14-16 at the Oxford. For show times and to purchase tickets, go to ecct.org or call (715)-839-8877.

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