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Flat Rock Playhouse to present and fold A Thousand Cranes


Photo by Scott Treadway

In performance and in service, Studio 52 students spread Sadako Sasaki’s message “this is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.”

‘Come play with us’ takes on a new meaning at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown this November with the Studio 52 production of A Thousand Cranes as the community is asked to get involved.

Based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year old girl who faced an uphill battle as she fought radiation sickness from the bombing of Hiroshima, A Thousand Cranes is an opportunity for the Playhouse to tell the story of hope and depict the struggle for peace in the lives of children across the world.

Sadako, an excellent athlete who trains rigorously with her friend Kenji to win an important foot race, falls ill. It is clear she must instead begin the race for her life. Instead of losing hope, Sadako is reminded of an ancient Japanese story, “if a sick person folds a thousand cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.” It is with this intent that the boundlessly optimistic Sadako sets out to build “a thousand cranes.”

Director Dave Hart explains that the cast of seventeen students (ages 8 through 19) are rehearsing and enhancing the script with their own factual research. “It is through this production that I hope audiences will gain an empathy and understanding of this young girl’s life as she fights to stay alive,” says Hart. “Her passion, her determination, and her desire that no other child must be hurt by war.”

With this in mind, these young actors set out to not only tell the story of A Thousand Cranes, but live and breathe it as they work to fulfill Sadako’s wish of peace by folding the cranes that will be used in the set design of this production, as well as in performance.

Extending this wish to the community, the company of A Thousand Cranes invites students of all ages to join with them in their efforts to fold “a thousand cranes” which will not only aid their efforts in this production, but will ultimately be sent to Japan to help in the celebration and honor of the 58th anniversary of the unveiling of Sadako Sasaki’s statue erected in Hiroshima Peace Park.

Please contact Dave Hart (828) 693-3517 at Studio 52 to involve a school, group, or family in this meaningful endeavor, or for pick up and drop off of the completed origami. Studio 52 asks those participating write down a wish on the origami paper before following one of the instructional links for folding the paper crane.

“Come play with us, and make a difference in the world one crane at a time!” says Hart.

For instructions on how to fold origami cranes, either email or follow the instructional links:

The cast for A Thousand Cranes includes Jia Hind and Marie Danos alternating the role of Sadako, Joseph Sherer and Brice Farris alternating the role of Kenji, Andrew Johnson as Father, Aniela Lane as Mother, Lianas Pronyk and Mae Freeman alternating the role of Grandmother Oba Can. Ansley Blackford, Marissa Connelly, Zoe Corbin, Taylor Jane Frangesh, Sophia Larsen, Sara Killian, Auden Pelz and Emily Warrick make up the ensemble.

Tickets and Schedule:

Intended for fourth grade and up, due to harder issues discussed in the play, A Thousand Cranes will run at the Playhouse Downtown from November 11th through November 20th with tickets ranging from $10-$18. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 828.693.0731 or by purchasing online at Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown is located at 125 S. Main Street in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

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