12-year-old Morgantown native's play comes to life at the Arts House

Lionel McCulloch
Photo courtesy of Vagabond Acting Troupe
Lionel McCulloch Photo courtesy of Vagabond Acting Troupe

It’s not this 12-year-old’s first produced musical, but it’s the first one he’s written almost entirely by himself.

Morgantown resident Lionel McCulloch had an idea to write a funny musical about the Three Little Pigs, and the colorful and upbeat show will be produced this month on the stage of the Vagabond Acting Troupe at the Arts House, 30 Fairview Road, Honey Brook.

The play will show Oct. 18 at 7 p.m., Oct. 19 at noon and Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 19, there is a pancake breakfast at 10:30 a.m. (and yes, there will be bacon).

McCulloch, who attends the Agora Cyber Charter School, where he is a 7th grader in 8th grade Language Arts and 9th grade Math, says he was inspired to write the play after the theater company, recently named number one on the PHL 17 Hotlist for Children’s Entertainment, ran a poster contest.


“My friend Dayton Witouski did a poster design for a play that doesn’t exist – ‘Makin’ Bacon’ - with a picture of the behinds of the three little pigs on it,” he says. “I loved that, and wanted to turn that poster into a real play.”

“Lionel has really been in the theater all his life,” notes the musical director of the show, Jenny Wilkin, of Glenmoore. “This musical is so much fun, and he’s written it to suit the talents of all of his theater friends. It’s a must-see.”

“Makin’ Bacon” follows the adventures of three young pigs, played by Jasper Krikorian, of Morgantown, Maddie Walker, of Coatesville, and McCulloch, as they must go on their own and leave Mama Pig (Emily Rader of Honey Brook) and Papa Pig (Celia Hernandez). Mama Pig advises them, “Piglets, Follow Your Dreams,” and sends them off with a warning to avoid the wolf.

The pigs head off to find their futures, only to run into the Wild Boar (Geordie Jarvis of Coatesville), who lets them know that they should follow their mom’s advice to be good pigs, because he didn’t and has been a “Hog Gone Wild.” Now an up-and-coming businessman, the boar leads the pigs to the market to purchase materials for their houses.

Meanwhile, BB Wolf, a soft-hearted vegan (played by Alex McClelland of Honey Brook), tries to convince his mother (Seanna Krikorian of Morgantown) that eating meat is down-right blichy by decrying “The Carnage of a Carnivore.” Mama’s not having it, and worries about her strange child in “The Horror of an Herbavore.” She sends BB off to find a pig for makin’ some bacon. BB does so, but with major renovations.

Having never seen a pig before, BB brings back a little girl, Jill (played by Rachel Wilkin of Glenmoore). Luckily Mama Wolf is afraid of humans and suggests that BB return the girl to where she was found. Before she goes, Jill explains to BB what a pig looks like in “Pink, Plump and Perky.”

A herd of sheep nearby is disgruntled that their shepherd, Jack (played by Drew Kalkiewicz of Downingtown), is always off jumping candlesticks and tormenting his sister Jill. They decry their life with the lazy sheep herder in “A Boy Who Lies,” and with Chicken Little (played by Caitlyn Boone) plan to teach him a lesson about responsibility. Sheep are played by Lyka Wallace, Isabella Harclerode, Leagen Wallce, Madalyn Seefeldt and Ashley McClelland.

BB still hasn’t quite figured out what a pig looks like, and returns with Chicken Little (whose feathers make BB sneeze). After getting into trouble with his mother, BB decides to run away from home, where he can live the life of an herbivore. Due to his allergies, BB’s encounter with the pigs is not as pleasant as he hoped, as he sneezes each pig’s house down and is arrested in “Makin’ Bacon.”

The outcome for BB looks grim, but all will end happily ever after in this colorful musical about responsibility, growing up and just how one goes about Makin’ Bacon.

Other cast members include Lauren Wallace as the Wood Cutter, Skye Graham as Grandma and Alyssa Ruch as the Market Keeper.

For more information on the play, visit the company’s website at www.vagabondactingtroupe.org. Tickets are also available on brownpapertickets.com.