The Second Street Players are starting a new tradition. On Jan. 17, the Riverfront Theatre will stage its first “Children’s Dessert Theatre,” with a short production of a classic fairy-tale, followed by desserts and a meet-and-greet with the cast and crew.


The Second Street Players are starting a new tradition. On Jan. 17, the Riverfront Theatre will stage its first “Children’s Dessert Theatre,” with a short production of a classic fairy-tale, followed by desserts and a meet-and-greet with the cast and crew.

The first show is “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” Showtime is scheduled for 1 p.m., with tickets selling for $8.

“The idea came from Debbie Simmons, one of our board members,” director Mark Dissinger said. “Parents are always looking for something for their children to do, and she did a little survey to see if they’d be interested in a live theater performance. The response that she got was overwhelming.”

She brought the idea to the Second Street board, and they embraced it instantly.

“We thought it’d be a great thing to do to reach out to the community and to the young people,” Dissinger said.

“The Elves and the Shoemaker,” one of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, is the story of a poor shoemaker who can’t sew enough shoes to make ends meet until he gets help from a group of kindly elves.

The Second Street board is planning two more dessert theatre performances this year: “The Frog Princess” in May, and “My Name is Rumplestiltskin” in October.

“We’re starting with ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ because it’s a well-known story and it’ll have that recognition,” Dissinger said. “But they’;e all well-known fairy tales or adaptations of well-known stories.”

If the program is successful, Second Street will continue it next year, possibly expanding from three performances a year to five or more.

The cast of “The Elves and the Shoemaker” includes Bill Walton as the Shoemaker, Jenn Stutzman as his wife, and Abbey Collier, Missy Spangler, Nolah Walton, Devin Petka and Libby Dissinger as the elves.

“We’ve been having a lot of fun doing this,” Dissinger said. “I can’t wait to share it with the rest of the community.”

There’s also a role for a “Storyteller” and two assistants who will open the performance.

“They’re going to have some fun and get the audience sort of involved in the show,” Dissinger said. “It’s an opportunity for them to do almost an ad-lib performance and really get the audience going.”

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the Second Street Players’ ticket line at 422-0220.

“It’s just an hour or two of entertainment on a Sat. afternoon that parents can take their kids to  and hav ea good time.”