CSM Announces Cast for ‘A Thousand Cranes’

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Children’s Theatre Company Tackles Reality of War, Eternal Hope

The College of Southern Maryland’s Children’s Theatre Company presents its cast for the production of “A Thousand Cranes,” a drama by Kathryn Schultz Miller. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Fine Arts (FA) Center on the La Plata Campus.

CSM’s cast includes Kaylin Beach of Pomfret as Sadako, Surasree Das of Olney as Kenji, Cory Bragg of Nanjemoy as Sadako’s father, Emily Garcia of Waldorf as Sadako’s mother and Alex LaClair of La Plata as puppeteer. Community members Sarah Infante, Ava Jones and Alayna Stewart round out the ensemble.

The play follows the story of Sadako Saski, a 2-year-old girl who lived in Hiroshima, Japan, with her family when the city was bombed during World War II. Ten years following the bombing, Sadako, who is an excellent athlete, gets dizzy and falls while running with her friend Kenji. She is hospitalized, and it is discovered that she has “radiation sickness” or leukemia—an effect of the bombing that occurred a decade before. Kenji visits Sadako at the hospital and reminds her of an old legend about the crane. If a sick person folds a thousand origami cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.

“We are hoping to collect 1,000 cranes from schoolchildren and organizations before the start of the play,” said CSM Theater and Dance Coordinator, Associate Professor Keith Hight. “We have received 300 expertly folded cranes from the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. and are expecting students from Robert D. Stethem Educational Center in Pomfret and Hollywood Elementary School to bring cranes when they attend the Oct. 10 matinee. Following the performance, the origami cranes will be donated to Children’s National Hospital.”

In addition, the Chin Hamaya Culture Center of Waldorf is supplying authentic kimonos for the production.

The community is invited to create and donate folded origami cranes for the production. Instructions on folding the origami cranes can be found online at http://www.csmd.edu/Arts/children/index.html.  A collection box for donated cranes is located outside the Box Office of the Fine Arts Center on the La Plata Campus. The Children’s National Health System requests that all cranes that will be distributed to their patients must be made of new, clean materials and that those individuals making the cranes must wash their hands prior to doing so.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11. Tickets are $7 for adults and seniors and $5 for youth in high school or younger. Performance is suitable for all age groups. For reservations contact bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828 or www.csmd.edu/arts.

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