Children entertain a crowd with play


MANNING - The musicals on Broadway have nothing on the youngsters at Manning Primary School.

On Monday evening, "Frosty the Snowman" came to life on Weldon Auditorium's stage thanks to the singing and acting talents of the school's second- and third-graders.

There was dancing, acting, singing and even a snowball fight or two.

The MPS performers were directed by Tammy Moye and Karen Washington under the leadership of Buren Martin.

Martin and his wife, Dorothy, founded The Baillie Players, a professional touring theater company that takes many of the classic tales and turns those tales into plays with a few new spins.

That helps enhance the experience, making it more exciting for today's students who are participating in the plays.

"These kids were wonderful," Martin told the audience teeming with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and friends. "You really have some talented youngsters."

Martin, who takes his touring company across the Southeast, said that the majority of the schools that performed "Frosty the Snowman" this season were middle schools.

"Those students are a lot older than these students, but these youngsters held their own," Martin added. "Their energy and excitement was wonderful."

MPS Principal Brenda Clark applauded all the time and work that both Moye and Washington put in to making the play such a success.

"We can't thank you enough for everything that you did," Clark said. "Thank you."

Martin said he was impressed with the size of the audience.

"Looking out over this audience, I'm so happy that you came to support these students," he said. "That means the world to them."

Martin and The Baillie Players will be back in February and May 2018 for performances from Manning Elementary School and Manning Early Childhood Center.