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updated: 6/13/2011 2:38 PM

Check out summer theater program in District 300

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The performing and fine arts branch of the Community Unit District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence -- D300 Foundation Presents -- enters its second year with a performance of "Into the Woods, Junior," a mix of familiar fairy tales and new stories.

The performances will take place over two weekends: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16; and Friday, July 22, and Saturday, July 23.

Tickets are $5 and are available online or by emailing

A number of District 300 alumni are joining current staff members on the production. Stephen Fodor, the producer, teaches technology at Westfield Community School in Algonquin. Matt Silar, the director, is a Jacobs High School graduate who has helped direct numerous District 300 productions.

Kimberly Sass, the musical director, is a Hampshire Elementary School music teacher, and Jessica Cano, the choreographer, is a special-education teacher at Golfview.

Based on the book "Into the Woods" by James Lapine, with words and music by Stephen Sondheim, the production intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales. The main characters are taken from "Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Rapunzel" and "Cinderella." The stories are tied together by an original storyline about a baker and his wife who try to undo a family curse so that they can have a child.

The junior version of the production eliminates the entire second act to cut the play from its original three-hour length to about 80 minutes.

About three dozen students from District 300 have been cast in the production in roles ranging from the narrator to the dancers.

Last year, the foundation performed a production of "Willy Wonka Junior" at Carpentersville Middle School.

The District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence aims to enhance and expand education at the classroom level through innovative methods of teaching. The not for profit organization has raised millions of dollars to develop programs not usually backed by tax dollars.

Grants are provided in the areas of literacy, performance and fine arts, science and technology and student leadership. Smaller innovation grants are also awarded that could be used in pilot programs for future District 300 or Foundation expansion.

Sign up for a 5K run: Everyone is welcome to the Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center's annual 5K run Sunday, June 26.

Take part in a 1-mile fun run or kids' dash and enjoy post-race refreshments. All proceeds will benefit the Centegra Health System Cardiac Care Fund.

Those who can't run the race can still donate money to the race and get a name on a poster that will be displayed around the racecourse.

To register or for details, visit the 5K display table at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center-Crystal Lake or Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center -- Huntley; or online at Call (815) 444-2900.

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