THE NAME OF THE play is "The Rumor in the Reptile House," and it will be presented tomorrow at Piney Ridge Elementary School.
Written by 15 fourth- and fifth-grade pupils, the play is one aspect of the creative experience that pupils have enjoyed thanks to a program brought to the school through Open Space Art.
Using a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council's artist-in-education program and funding from the PTA, Piney Ridge art teacher Karen Peck and members of the PTA's cultural committee brought visual artists from Open Space Art in Reisterstown for three weeks of intensive learning.
Under the guidance of artists Alden and Beth Phelps, the children worked to create six giant masks of reptiles and a zookeeper. Pupils worked in small groups using wood forms, clay, plastic wrap, papier-mache and lots of paint.
Their work will be brought to life in the play, scheduled to be performed at 9: 30 a.m. and 10: 15 a.m. tomorrow.
After their debut in the play, the masks will be used as decoration in the school so they can be admired and appreciated. A 72-foot mural created by Piney Ridge pupils two years ago through another Artist-in-Education program graces the school's lobby. A musical residency is being considered for next year.
"Growing Up in Today's World" was this year's topic for the annual Freedom Optimist Oratorical Contest held last week. Eight young people braved nervousness as they presented their views before a panel of judges and family supporters.
"These kids are winners just being here tonight," said Calvin Green as he welcomed the speakers and congratulated them on their participation in the event. Green is a member of the Optimist Club and oratory contest chairman.
Anthony Cimino III, Dana Ehlman, Kelly Fisk, Larissa Martin, Tricia Melka, Adam Priest, Rebecca Reiter and Erin Yokey each spoke for about five minutes on the subject of being a young person in today's world.
Several noted technological advantages available today, as well as the dangers of increasing violence. The choices they face in education and careers were also key points.
Tricia was awarded first place in the girls' competition and received a plaque and a $100 savings bond. Rebecca was the girls' runner-up and received a plaque and a $50 savings bond.
Anthony placed first and Adam second in the boys' division; they also received plaques and savings bonds. Everyone received a certificate of participation.
Tricia and Anthony will deliver speeches at the next level of competition tomorrow. If successful, they would be eligible to compete in the district competition in Ocean City next month.
Parents of Boy Scout Troop 883 will sponsor a Basket Bingo May 6 at the Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Hall. Doors will open at 5: 30 p.m., and games will begin at 7 p.m.
Twenty games of regular bingo, special games, door prizes and raffles will be available. Light fare will be sold.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Additional game cards will be available for $3 each.
Information or advance tickets: Denise Huber at 410-549-2188, or Trish Barrow 410-795-4731.
St. Stephen's Reformed Episcopal Church, 2275 Liberty Road in Eldersburg, will hold a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Sponsored by the women of the church, the sale will include furniture, household items, toys and clothing. Light lunch fare and baked goods will be available. Proceeds will be used to help charities.
Information: Karen Foreman 410-795-3060.
The Freedom District Lions Club's annual spring flea market and crafts show will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Sykesville- Freedom District Fire Department, Route 32 and Freedom Avenue.
The event is expected to draw more than 110 vendors and craftspeople who will be set up outdoors and inside the fire hall. The event will be held rain or shine.
Entertainment for the family is scheduled throughout the day including demonstrations and performances by local karate and dance students. Food vendors will offer breakfast and lunch. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lions Club projects.
Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Digests, datebook If you have information for the community digests or datebook, call Ellie Baublitz at 410-751-7910 during the day, leave a voice mail message after hours or fax news releases to 410-751-7916.