The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus (In Your Home)

Written by: Eric Coble

Directed by: Melissa Crum

Sheila and her friends find themselves on a mystical journey that could change the course of human and animal-kind forever! When a mysterious coyote with sunglasses and pick-up truck steals the group of friends’ orange traffic cone, the crowning glory of their dirt-road junk-pile fortress, an adventure and a true test of bravery and friendship begins.

Book this Performance!

This virtual production can be “Zoomed” right to you! 

Perfect for schools, libraries, scout troops, homeschool groups, and so much more. Our professional performers will interact with the audience pre-show, involving them in the creation of some theater magic, as well as post show for a question and answer session. An online study guide is also available with pre-show and post-show conversations and activities to supplement your virtual theater experience!

The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus (In Your Home) can be booked for dates from March 5th – December 31st, 2021.

Recommended Grade Levels: K – 5 (This production is also great for older students participating in and drama classes or clubs as a chance to participate in a unique theater experience and connect with professional artists).

All touring performances need to be booked at least one month before the desired performance date. 

For more information about booking and pricing, please fill out the form below!

Download Our Free Study Guide!

Perfect for educators or grown-ups who are looking for additional educational content surrounding this production. This study guide includes vocabulary lessons, facts and history about the show elements, classroom theatre activities, post-show context questions and more!

Watch our Interviews with the Cast!


Who's Who in A Girl Who Swallowed A Cactus

Andrea Belser (Company Member) is a Performing and Teaching Artist from Cleveland, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Studies, emphasizing in Dance and Applied Voice, from Wright State University. Andrea teaches various dance, theater acting, and musical theater to all ages and abilities with theaters and companies around Northeast Ohio, including but not limited to Playhouse Square, Dancing Wheels, Cleveland Play House, and DANCEcleveland. She also continuously works on and off stage as an actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, stage manager, and dresser. You may have last seen her perform as Aesop in The Fox and the Crow at Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Ensemble in Aida at Karamu House, Dr. Ehrn in Freaky Friday at Lakeland Civic Theater, or Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors at French Creek Theater. Her choreographer credits include My Way at The Fine Arts Association, The King of the AnimalsThe Oba Asks for a Mountain and The Mummies and the Magic Prince at Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and Once On This Island, Jr. at Near West Theatre. Andrea’s awards include 2008 Best Actress in Cleveland for her role as Juliette in I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda at Dobama Theater, and a nomination for 2012 Best Actress in Cleveland for her role as Pecola in The Bluest Eye at Karamu House. 

Melanie Boeman (Aesthetic Consultant) is the Resident Costume and Mask Designer at TCT. Her past works include The Rainbow Serpent, Sundiata, Hook & Smee, The Mummies & the Magic Prince, The Crocodile, the Cobra & the Girl Down the Well, Golden, Prince Ivan & the Firebird, Finn McCool, The Silent Princess, Rosalynde & the Falcon, Clara & the Nutcracker, and many others. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Cleveland State University and is Costume Shop Manager at Baldwin Wallace University.

Eric Coble (Playwright) This is Eric’s second play with Talespinner (after “Tovik Tomte And The Trolls”).  His scripts for grown-ups have been produced on Broadway (Tony- and Pulitzer-nominated “The Velocity of Autumn”), Off-Broadway (“Bright Ideas”), in all fifty states of the U.S., and on several continents.  His plays for not-so-grown-ups include award-winning adaptations of Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” and “Gathering Blue”, as well as “The Storm In The Barn”, “Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars” and a dozen other published scripts which have been produced at Dallas Children’s Theatre, Childsplay, Metro Theatre Company, Oregon Children’s Theatre, First Stage, Denver Center Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, Adventure Stage, Alliance Theatre, and many others.  Awards include two AATE Distinguished Play Awards for Best Adaptation, and the Chorpenning Playwriting Award for Body of Work. Visit for more madness.

Miranda Coble (Company Member) bills herself as a multidisciplinary artist focused on directing, acting, lighting design, and carpentry.  She is a graduate of Skidmore College where she holds a Bachelor of Science in Theater and Psychology.  Miranda furthered her training with the Moscow Art Theater and SITI Company where her love for physical theater only grew. Some favorite credits include Revolt She Said Revolt Again (Dinah), The Secretaries (Susan Curtis) both at Skidmore and in Cleveland, she has had the pleasure of working with Cleveland Public Theater, Ensemble, Karamu, Dobama, and Cleveland Shakespeare Festival.

Melissa Crum (Director) is a Cleveland-based director, writer, performer, and educator. Melissa received the 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship through Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), where she and co-writer & composer Caitlin Lewins developed Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies), a dark musical comedy. Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies) received a reading at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) in the summer of 2019. Through this work, Crum and Lewins were finalists for the 2019 Mitten Lab. Melissa completed the 2013/2014 Joan Yellen Horvitz Director Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre where she directed The Drowning Girls. Melissa has directed locally at Dobama Theatre, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, True North Cultural Arts, and Cleveland Public Theatre. Melissa studied Directing Devised Theatre and Theatre Creation under the tutelage of Raymond Bobgan, and holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University.

Jailyn Sherell Harris (Company Member Understudy) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she received her BAC in theater, with a minor in dance. Ms. Harris has had the opportunity to serve as a director and choreographer for a few schools around northeast Ohio. She has also served as a teaching artist with Dancing Classrooms of Northeast Ohio and the Center for Inspired Learning. Jailyn has a strong dance background and extensive experience in Jazz, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. She is an inaugural member of MadJax Dance Company. As a performer, she has had the opportunity to perform in theatres across Northeast Ohio and beyond with credits from Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Cassidy Theatre, Karamu House, Lakeland Civic Theatre, the Players Guild Theatre and the A.R.T. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recently she appeared in a workshop production of the new musical “On the Line” at Rubber City Theatre, and in the world premiere of Bluesman: Never Get out of These Blues Alive, adapted by Michael Oatman and directed by Eric Schmeidle.

Matt Zitelli (Company Member) is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory program. He has focused on comedic performance as a performer and instructor with Something Dada, one of Cleveland’s premiere improvisational theater groups, and with Last Call Cleveland, an award-winning sketch comedy troupe. Outside comedy, he has performed with several Cleveland theatre companies including Cleveland Public Theatre, Cain Park, Dirty Shakespeare Company, Bad Epitaph Theater Company, and Fourth Wall Productions. This is his third show with Talespinner Children’s Theatre.  

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