Winnie the Pooh: A Timeless Favorite Brought to Life for Today's Young Audiences

Bring Your Imaginations and Join Us for a Birthday Party, a Game of Hide-and-Seek, and a Trip to the North Pole!

by Molly Wells

BOONE, NC – The Appalachian Young People's Theatre (AYPT) proudly presents "Winnie the Pooh," based on the 1926 book by A.A. Milne, directed and adapted for the stage by Theatre and Dance Professor Gordon Hensley. The cast and crew are comprised of eleven individuals majoring in theatre education and general theatre. Appalachian State campus performances take place in I.G. Greer Studio Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12 with 2 p.m. matinee shows on both Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2024. All tickets are five dollars each and are available online through the department website at as well by phone and in person through the Schaefer Center for the Arts box office.

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Since 1972, Appalachian Young People's Theatre, a traveling theatre company housed within the Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State University, has been bringing the wonders of theatre to students in the High Country and surrounding areas. Each spring, the company produces a different show, geared toward elementary-aged students. The primary goal of AYPT is to engage and entertain young audiences while promoting educational themes through classic and contemporary stories.

Winnie the Pooh insert 3The productions feature simple sets, props, and costumes, all designed by company members, making them accessible to audiences of all ages. All AYPT participants are Appalachian State University students who receive credit and training in technical aspects and performance under the supervision of faculty members Gordon Hensley, director, Matt Tyson, technical director, and Kristen Grieneisen, costume shop supervisor. The all-encompassing experience allows students to gain practical experience in all aspects of creating a piece of theatre, while delivering high-quality performances to audiences.

The story of "Winnie the Pooh" follows the many adventures of everyone's favorite bear and his beloved companions through the Hundred Acre Wood and beyond. The heart-warming stories show how important friendship is. For nearly a century, the timeless tales of Winnie-the-Pooh have captivated readers worldwide. The endearing storybook characters come to life once more through this lighthearted and interactive stage production.

From the director, Gordon Hensley, "While written for students from kindergarten to third grade, all ages can revisit their inner child as Winnie-The-Pooh weaves its charming narrative. It will be the first time that many of the students who see this show are experiencing live theatre. The goal of this nontraditional version of a traditional favorite is to introduce young people to theatre and hopefully foster an interest in the arts which will benefit students for the rest of their lives."

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The cast of "Winnie the Pooh" includes, in alphabetical order, Appalachian students Megan Gilmore, Naomii Hayes, Maverick Holmes, Kayla Miller, Matisse Notte, Lauren Sharpe and Molly Wells.

In addition, technical elements and the elementary school study guide were provided by the following participants, in alphabetical order, Willow Brookshire, Sydney Bupp, and Joshua Watson, alongside stage manager, Ella Powell.

For directions to Greer Studio Theatre and information about campus parking during AYPT performances, please see Visitor Parking.

Winnie the Pooh Creative by Brad Parquette
Photos by Gordon Hensley
Appalachian Young People's Theatre logo by John David Brown III


About the Department of Theatre and Dance 
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Theatre and Dance's mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative, and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community, and the region.

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University's College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences, and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more about the college at

About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls 21,253 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio, and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

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Published: Apr 2, 2024 7:38am