Musical reflects adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Stage II Family Theatre will perform Mark Twain's classic in its production of "Big River."

It will all begin with a journey on the river with a boy, a runaway slave and a common goal--to reach a land where there is freedom for them both.

This sets the stage for the musical "Big River."

Stage II Family Theatre will perform Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" in its production of "Big River" at downtown Muncie's Community Civic Theatre, located at 520 E. Main.

"We've put it together quite quickly," said Robert Dirden, the musical's director. "We've been rehearsing for about five weeks."

Dirden said the cast had a few weeks of one day meetings, followed by the weeks of intense rehearsals.

The cast numbers roughly 25 people and nearly half the cast consists of Ball State students, according to Dirden.

The story follows Huck is a young boy without much formal education who lives life as he pleases, but is also trying to avoid his abusive father.

Huck meets and befriends Jim, a local slave who later comes to Huck for help to flee to the North. Huck is torn between his cultural values and his own conscience, but agrees to help Jim run away. They travel together on the Mississippi River and encounter many strange, yet interesting people along the way, including a couple of families that are feuding and even some gangster-type individuals.

This musical will focus on Huck and Jim's journey down the river, based on Twain's novel.

"Lots of things are out of the book," Dirden said.

Musicals like this one usually get chosen from a catalog that theatre groups go through. Dirden said that the script came out in the early 1980s.

"You have to pay royalties and then you can do the show," Dirden said.

Dirden said he expects the show to have a good turn-out, due to the fact that a large part of the cast is from Ball State.

The show takes place tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $5 for children younger than 12, $8 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults. Children younger than 3 will be admitted free of charge.


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