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(Enlarge) Hooper the "Byrd" Dog relaxes for his close-up. (Submitted photo)

A four-legged actor from Woodbine and a clown from Baltimore will each be on stage -- though in separate shows -- at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster this week.

Hooper, a 9-year-old black Labrador owned by John and Melinda Byrd of Woodbine, will portray the character "Crab" in the National Player's production of William Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the arts center at 7 p.m. Monday, June 30.

The play will be Hooper's first theatrical role, but she has experience with a bit of performance pressure.

She is trained as a guide dog, so her ability to follow commands and remain calm, even while on stage with unfamiliar faces, was seen as an asset, according to the production organizers.

The National Players are billed as "America's Longest Running Classical Touring Company," and specialize in presenting the works of Shakespeare in a fun and entertaining way for families to enjoy

According to the arts center, the quest to cast "local dogs" in the summer production are part of the Players' outreach efforts.

Tickets for $18 for adults and $15 for arts council members, students and seniors.

Clowning around

Also this coming week, Michael Rosman will return to the arts center for a performance at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 2.

Following his show, Rosman will lead a circus "Mini Camp" for children who want to learn some of the antics of the trade.

A graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus' Clown College Rosman has been a performer for more than 25 years, and appears routinely at Harbor Place in Baltimore. He has also appeared on "Late Show with David Letterman," and in Atlantic City and on major cruise ships. He was host of the 2004 International Jugglers Association and was two-time winner of an Maryland Individual Artist Grant.

Tickets for his show are $7 for adults and $6 for arts council members, students and seniors.

Tuition for the day-long circus stars camp is $60 for non-members and $50 for members. The camp is for children 8 to 15 and advance registration is required by Friday, June 27.

The Carroll Arts Center is located at 91 W. Main St., Westminster. For more information, call 410-848-7272.


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