Clarendon Hills girl finds a role in “Madeline’s Christmas’
Olivia Hart of Western Springs who plays Madeline (center) during rehearsal. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
IF YOU GO
What: Madeline’s Christmas
Where: Children’s Theatre of Western Springs, 4384 Hampton Ave., Western Springs
When: Nov. 30-Dec.9
Tickets: $15, $7 for age 18 and younger
Reservations: (708)246-3380 or theatreofwesternsprings.com
Updated: December 30, 2012 6:10AM
CLARENDON HILLS — A 12-year-old Clarendon Hills girl will be one of the “12 little girls” this Christmas.
Helen Smith plays the role of Simone in “Madeline’s Christmas” being performed by the Children’s Theater of Western Springs.
Leslie Price, children’s director at the Theatre of Western Springs, said this year’s holiday show isn’t just for children. It’s for everyone, including those with fond memories of the books by Ludwig Bemelmans.
“It’s based on the book that everybody knows and loves,” Price said.
For those unfamiliar, Madeline is a story about a Paris boarding school and the adventures of the girls who live there. The stage version of the tale includes songs to help tell the story.
“I’ve been in children’s theater and have taken classes for four years, and it’s exciting to be in this play,” Helen said.
“I like theater because I get to pretend to be someone different. It’s easier for me to have a character who is just like me, but it’s challenging and fun to be someone who isn’t at all like me.”
Helen said she can relate to her Simone character, who sometimes acts very sweet and innocent, but isn’t that way all the time.
“I kind of put on the sweet act in front of my mom sometimes,” she said. “But I don’t act that way when it’s just me with my brothers.”
Helen said most of her acting experience has come in plays presented only once. This play runs Nov. 30-Dec. 9.
“That gives you the opportunity to see how much you’ve improved from the beginning to the end of the play,” she said.
Olivia Hart of Western Springs is playing the role of Madeline.
“My favorite song is ‘Joy of the Season,’” Olivia said.
Until that song, the girls aren’t certain they will make it home for Christmas. A bout of the flu puts their holidays in jeopardy, but a little Christmas magic is all it takes for everything to work out just fine.
A little extra dose of magic will be included in Madeline’s Christmas Tea, a special event that will include games, treats and a visit from Santa.
Madeline’s Christmas Tea will take place at 2 p.m. Dec. 1. Tickets, which must be purchased separately from the show, are $15.