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June 21, 2013

‘Carnival!’ opens at Central Christian Church tonight

NEW ALBANY —

For two weekends and two weekends only, the Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris will roll into Central Christian Church for their production of “Carnival!”

Reunited with some of his cast members from Floyd Central and New Albany high schools from 60 years ago, director Tom Weatherston said along with colorful set design and interesting characters, he thinks the themes in the show will strike audiences.

“I think it’s a show that speaks to a wide variety of ages,” Weatherston said. “A part of the story is about coming of age and another part is about the citizen soldier trying to adapt to life after service, which we see in the newspapers and on television all the time today.”

Weatherston contacted the church’s Performing Arts Ministry about directing a show. He retired from teaching in 1991.

Carol White, who studied under Weatherston until she graduated from New Albany High School in 1970, is a stage manager for the show and helped build the puppets used by one of the main characters.

She said though they’re not performing on a full stage, the sets still help in telling the story of an orphaned girl and a wounded veteran who end up working together in a circus.

“We’ve been doing this now for five years at the church,” White said. “Mr. Weatherston just knew what to do. There’s not a whole lot of pre-built set with this and bringing in the circus tent was a challenge.”

But she said the tent helps encompass how a circus is constantly on the move.

“It’s kind of like we bring it all in with the tent during the show and at the end of the show we take it all down,” White said. “It’s just like a carnival that’s come to town that’s done this a million times in a million cities.”

She said the show also features three generations of actors from New Albany High School, whether they studied under Weatherston, David Longest or current director Gina Cisto.

The show opens tonight at 7:30 p.m., running this weekend and next. Show times are 7:30 p.m., June 21-22 and June 28-29, and 2 p.m., June 23 and June 30.

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