REGIONAL: Wingate students to stage free performance of ‘Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook’

By Savannah Phillips, Student Writer

Wingate University’s Department of Communication will present the Allison Gregory play, “Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook,” based off the best-selling children’s books by Barbara Park.

“Lots of college students remember Junie B. Jones fondly,” said Barbara Pann, the department’s interim chair and director of the play. “This is a great opportunity for students and the public to laugh and enjoy a performance bringing Junie B. to life.”

The storyline includes stolen furry mittens, a pen of many colors and an examination of the “finders keepers, losers weepers” adage. There’s also a new boy in kindergarten who attracts the eye of Grace and Lucille as well as Junie.

The production will involve nearly 20 Wingate students, including Darius Johnson, who is serving as assistant director. Adjunct professor Jeffrey Childs has volunteered to assist with the technical aspects of the play, and assistant professor Kangming Ma has agreed to film the shows.

In addition to the two public events, set for 7 p.m. April 21 and 2 p.m. April 22, Pann and her crew have invited classes from several area elementary schools to come to the university for private shows.

“Grade-school children are the embodiments of dramatism. We now have to make sure we are going over the top.” Johnson said.

“I can’t wait to hear the giggles of those children,” Pann added.

The public shows, which will run between 55 and 65 minutes, will be held in Austin Auditorium.

Admission is free but tickets are required and can be reserved at wingate.edu/life-at-wingate/events/tickets.