CPS's 'Danny' raises spirits, 400 food items for Potsdam Neighborhood Center
Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 7:45 am

POTSDAM – Community Performance Series performances of a play about homelessness collected 400 food items for donation to the Potsdam Neighborhood Center.

Though the circumstances for the homeless character Danny and his mother were challenging, the Community Performance Series performances of "Danny, King ofFrom left, GardenShare member Heather Sullivan-Catlin, CPS interns Chelsea Zalikowski and Sarah McCann, Neighborhood Center Director Daisy Cox, CPS coordinator Anna Marie Wilharm and intern Joe Van Ullen with some of the food items collected.From left, GardenShare member Heather Sullivan-Catlin, CPS interns Chelsea Zalikowski and Sarah McCann, Neighborhood Center Director Daisy Cox, CPS coordinator Anna Marie Wilharm and intern Joe Van Ullen with some of the food items collected. the Basement" had very happy endings.

CPS recently hosted two performances of the production -- a 10 a.m. school performance and a 7 p.m. evening performance. More than 200 local students and teachers viewed the education outreach performance and participated in the post-show question and answer session with the cast.

Students were actively engaged in the play's story of Danny "Delco" Carter and his mother Louise, who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Through it all, Danny uses his imagination to cope with even the toughest situations and bring people together.

"This performance made me feel grateful," said Haleigh, a sixth grade student at Edwards-Knox Central School. "It was sad at times, but even though Danny was new, everyone treated him like family."

The evening performance was offered for free with a suggested donation of two food items, and drew 100-plus community members, students and children. The performance, in conjunction with other food drives held by the Potsdam Interact Club and GardenShare Youth Food Day Summit, raised more than 400 food items for the Potsdam Neighborhood Center. The "Good for the Neighborhood" Food Drive marked the first partnership between CPS and the center, and provided a positive connection between arts and the community.

"The event was a big success on many different levels. It really brought the community together -- CPS, GardenShare, the Interact Club and the public worked together for a very successful food drive!" said Daisy Cox, director of the Neighborhood Center. "Additionally, and as intended, the play created a sensitive awareness to the intricacies and the real consequences of poverty and homelessness. Artistically, it was a powerful performance that at times really moved me emotionally, as I directly related to the families I see on a daily basis who are right here in our own communities."

"Danny, King of the Basement" was part of CPS's Meet the Arts Series, offering youth and family performing arts presentations. Upcoming performances include the Jan. 8, 2011 matinee performance of John Tartaglia's "ImaginOcean," The Orchestra of Northern New York in "My Many Colored Days" on March 23, and John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" on May 4. For more information, call the CPS Box Office at (315) 267-2277 or visit www.cpspotsdam.org.

For more information, visit www.cpspotsdam.org.