"Run, run, run as fast as you can—you can't catch me, I'm the Stinky Cheese Man," exclaimed 7-year-old Andy Cornwall as he described the way his character gets others to chase him.
Andy plays the title character for the performance of "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," opening 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 18 in the Pullman Civic Theatre.
Based on the book by Jon Scieszka, "The Stinky Cheese Man" was adapted for theater by John Glore, said Kami Cornwall, co-director of the performance.
"John Glore is really particular about who he allows the rights to perform the play," she said. "He wanted to make sure we were kind of a small community theater and that we were right for his play. We feel kind of honored that he decided that this was going to be a good fit and that we would do it some justice."
Kami said the cast is mostly made up of children, including her own two, and only five adults. The youngest cast member for this production is 6 years old.
"Generally we try to pick something for our summer play that a lot of children can be involved in," she said.
The show will contain renditions of "The Ugly Duckling," "The Princess and the Pea" and "Little Red Riding Hood," among others, Kami said.
Jessica Cross, co-director of the production, said the performance is a collection of strange fairy tales weaved together by a narrator. It's also her first time co-directing a children's play, she said.
"The dynamic is a lot different from directing adults," Cross said. "You have to be a bit more active in your directing style. We also appreciate the help of parents and the elder cast members in keeping everybody quiet backstage."
The co-directors both said they picked "The Stinky Cheese Man" because the book had meant something to them in both childhood and adulthood.
"I saw that someone had made an adaptation to ‘The Stinky Cheese Man’ and we love this story in our household, so I kind of geeked out over it and contacted the guy who has the rights to it," Kami said.
Kami said because of the short stories being told, each cast member had to learn an average of two characters. Andy plays the Stinky Cheese Man, Ducky Lucky and a backup rapper, while his brother, Stuart Cornwall, plays the Frog Prince and Rumpelstiltskin.
Stuart said he has fun interacting with the other characters, such as the princess from "The Princess and the Bowling Ball." He also likes that its silliness allows room for mess-ups.
"All of the mistakes are on purpose," Stuart said. "It makes it easier for you if you make mistakes because then the audience will think it's part of the play."
As the Stinky Cheese Man, Andy said he gets to interact with the audience by trying to get members to chase him.
"He tries to get people to chase him but no one ever does it because he's stinky," he said.
Kami said she loves doing these summer performances because people from all over the community become unified to create this product.
"I hope that (the audience) can see that when they watch the play, how well everyone just kind of gels with each other, they rely on each other and it becomes this neat team," she said. "They're proud of themselves that they put together this really great product."
Tickets for the performance can be bought from the Pullman Civic Theatre's website at https://www.pullmancivictheatre.org/index.html. Tickets are $12 and $10 for matinees with a pre purchased ticket, and $15, or $12 for matinees at the door. The show will also run through July 21, and from July 25 to July 28.