Art for the young at heart

Dancer Natalie Rossi stars in the upcoming production of "Happily Ever After: A Tale of Dancing Princesses."

Most kids naturally gravitate to the arts if given half a chance. There's something wonderful about colors, creativity and imagination that children understand at an early age.

That's why the weekend is a good time for the young family with two different events related to the arts.

The first is the free Friday Family Fest from 5-8 p.m. at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry at 25 Ann St.

The Children's Museum offers kids a way to explore the world through nine interactive exhibits, including a two-story Medieval Castle, a pirate ship and an Art Room. It's a great way to allow children to explore the arts, sciences and humanities through their own hands-on experiences.

On Friday, each family will receive free Museum Admission, a free dinner from Pizza Hut on Meeting Street and a complimentary pass to come back to CML. The first 250 families also will receive a free children's book. No registration is required.

The second event is the CBT Center for Dance Education's presentation of "Happily Ever After: A Tale of Dancing Princesses" at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

Choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr is the creative force behind the production, which blends fairy tales and presents a combination of professional and amateur dancers.

The adaptation references "Snow White," "Rapunzel," "The Little Mermaid," "Pocahontas," "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty."

"In our spring production designed specifically for this audience, we have the opportunity to introduce children and their families to these familiar princesses Snow White, Cinderella and the rest of their favorite fairies in a very personal and memorable way," Bahr said.

The program is meant for young audiences as well as adults.

Tickets are $24 and $30 for adults, $12 and $15 for children, and can be purchased online at or by calling 469-2080.

Some advance tickets are going on sale for a new drama surrounding the 1928 murder of Episcopal Bishop William Alexander Guerry.

Thomas Tisdale's original play, "Truth in Cold Blood," dramatizes, for the first time, the story of the shooting and death of Guerry and the events leading up to it. Tisdale, an attorney and writer in Charleston, serves as chancellor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

"Bishop Guerry was gunned down in his office at St. Philip's Church by a disgruntled priest," said Tisdale. "In writing this play, my goal was to bring to life the reasons for this now-forgotten tragedy, and to force us to confront the deep societal issues that continue to divide our communities in our own time."

A cast of 15 actors will portray the many characters directly involved with both the Bishop and his assassin.

This is as Charleston a story as it gets, and it's written by one who can give it that particular flair that will mark it as one of the Lowcountry's own. You'll be hearing more about this as time approaches.

The play, produced by Unity Productions, will make its national premiere July 16 at the Dock Street Theatre with a gala reception at Hibernian Hall following the performance. Four additional performances are scheduled July 17-20.

Reservations and tickets for the opening night performance and gala are $75. To purchase tickets, please email, or call 509-0286. Reserved seating tickets to all other performances are $40 and are available at

Charleston Stage reminds us about the opportunity to donate to nonprofits of all varieties on Tuesday. The Lowcountry Arts Alliance, in partnership with The Coastal Community Foundation, has raised matching incentive funds in the amount of $110,000 for what is being called Lowcountry Giving Day. Any donations made May 6 will not only go directly to Charleston Stage but also will be totaled and matched up to 100 percent.

Jennifer Hawes has written about this important opportunity to help our community in our Faith & Values section today if you want to know more about it.

This is a perfect time to give back to the artists that have given our community so much pleasure.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or sharvin@