Tyler Civic Theatre staging 'Winnie the Pooh' through Sunday

Published on Friday, 17 November 2017 00:35 - Written by LURAE STOKES, Special to the Tyler Paper

Tyler Civic Theatre is offering an escape to the Hundred-Acre Wood with Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and other beloved characters from A.A. Milne’s books.

Performances of “Winnie the Pooh” will take place 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at 400 Rose Park Drive. Tickets can be bought at tylercivictheatre.com or the box office.

“It has got a lot of imaginary characters and a lot of fantasy,” Robin Root, the director, said of the play.

Root said Milne’s stories allow one to “never lose your childlike wonder and to just imagine, laugh and love the characters.”

Eliot Burk, who plays Owl, said the play will appeal to people of all ages.

“It’s a show about a kid and we’ve all been kids and we’ve all had imaginary friends,” he said. “I think it’s just a way to sit down and revisit your childhood, and if you’re a kid, it’s just fun.”

“Pooh has a special place in my heart,” said Justin Purser, who plays the title character. “Winnie the Pooh is the epitome of innocence and childlike wonder. ... It’s nice to play a role where nothing else in the world really matters except for loving and caring for your friends.

“I’d love for people to be transported to another world - old and young alike. These children’s stories are timeless and hold simple morals that we tend to forget as we go through our lives,” he said.

Children play Piglet, Tigger, Roo and Christopher Robin.

Gianna Mahfood said her character, timid Piglet, is “great friends with Winnie the Pooh and he wants to be just like him.”

Children will like the play, she said, because it has a lot of jokes and sweet moments and adults will like it because “they will get to see and remember what they used to be like when they were little.”

As Christopher Robin, Karter Simmons has to use a British accent.

He said being Robin is a challenge. “I have to stay in character the whole time. I can’t laugh at any jokes that people say.”

Steven Young said the bouncy Tigger, who he plays, doesn’t get mad at people, even if they mess with him.

“I can relate to Tigger because sometimes I can be a little afraidy cat,” he said. “And I give people second chances.”

Tres Taylor said his character, wild little Roo, doesn’t follow rules.

“And that’s what I like,” he said. “I am wild and everything that Roo is.”

Josh Alexander plays the sad donkey Eeyore. After reading the script and watching Winnie the Pooh movies, he said he “began to understand more of his situation with an adult mindset.”

Carter Oyer plays Rabbit, who he described as grumpy and anxious on the outside but “very kind on the inside.”

Oyer is excited that children will be in the audience.

“Kids laugh at everything, they make everything fun,” he said. “And it’s always fun to meet them after the show.”

Eliot Burk said his character, Owl, is pompous, stuck up and thinks he knows everything.

“Owl tries to teach the other animals because he thinks he knows what’s the best move when usually it’s Pooh, the bear with no brain, that ends up showing him up,” he said.