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First Stage Theatre Company presents a drive-in production that's two shows in one: "Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play" and "Squirrel Girl Goes to College.”

HUNTINGTON — After a long COVID absence, theater returns to Huntington this month as First Stage Theatre presents a drive-in production that’s two shows in one.

The cast of 31 local young performers will present two non-musical plays based on characters from the Marvel Comics universe — “Hammered: Thor & Loki,” and “Squirrel Girl Goes to College.”

The shows will be presented at Pea Ridge United Methodist Church at 5747 East Pea Ridge Road at 7:30 p.m. on April 16, 17, 23 and 24, and at 2:30 p.m. on April 18 and 25. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.

Each show is about 40 minutes long and follows the adventures of the Marvel heroes (and villains) when they were teenagers. Thor and Loki are figures from mythology — they’re heirs to the throne of Asgard (and brothers who don’t always get along), and the pranks they play on each other are legendary. Squirrel Girl, who has amazing squirrel powers — her best friend is a squirrel named Tippie-toe — is anxious to go to college and make new friends, but will her old enemies (and her squirrel friends) go along with her plan?

To make it a COVID-safe performance, audience members will stay in their car in the parking lot, the audio will be broadcast over their car radios, and the stage will be set up in the parking lot.

“Our last staged production, ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,’ was presented in the Pea Ridge parking lot last August — and we’re finally back with another COVID-friendly production,” said Director Chuck Minsker. “Our young performers have been looking forward to getting back on stage — safely — and we appreciate all the support from our audience.”

The show’s directing team includes Minsker, assistant director Madalein Jackson, movement director Leah Turley and costume director Tish Maynard.

These two shows are part of the 31st season for Huntington’s long-running children’s theater.

The mission of First Stage Theatre Company is to provide opportunities for children to develop social and communication skills by participating in the performing arts and to promote fine arts education through the presentation of theatrical productions to children and families in our community.

For more information, call 304-416-KIDS (304-416-5437) or visit the First Stage website at www.firststagetheatre.org.

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