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popular titles: Mulan, Peter Pan,
We are the Dream, Sleepy Hollow, Alice
in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, The
Wizard of Oz, A Thousand Cranes, Kid
production a big hit at Cultural Park Theater
Wolf Creek collective presents
Legend of Mulan"
By CJ Haddad
- Cape Coral
weekend at Cultural Park Theater, it was the kids calling the shots.
the kids calling the shots."
Legend of Mulan"
- Wolf Creek Collective, Cape Coral FL
A full show
staged, directed and choreographed by members of Wolf Creek
Collective - an all-kids performing arts group - hit the stage as "The
Legend of Mulan" was performed in front of a socially
distanced and sold-out audience.
Collective, spearheaded in the Cape by Bridey Kearns, allows the
students to use their imaginative and creative ideas to perform,
direct, choreograph, write and influence an on-stage production.
Kearns has been choreographing shows at Cultural Park Theater since
2017. This past weekend was the troupe's first full performance
and probably the first of it's kind in Southwest Florida.
proud of the fact there's no precedence for this - no one that they
could have seen do it before, and no one that they could have learned
it from," Kearns said. "They came in as the first kids to
do something like this and it takes a lot of initiative. The fact
they were able to learn what we taught to them and apply it so
quickly to make a full-fledged show in only 10 weeks just really
allows the students to use their imagination and be creative."
PATRICK ONUFER WITH PATRICK O'PHOTOS 12-year-old tech director Emma
Kane, right, helps Logan King (8) get ready while 12-year-old
choreographer Emily Salazar, back left, prepares to put on "The
Legend of Mulan."
The show was
directed by 10-year-old Eden Fautz, choreographed by 12-year-old
Emily Salazar with lighting and sound handled by 12-year-old Emma Kane.
can tell when someone loves something because they take it up so
fast," Kearns said. "They really absorbed the knowledge,
it's not forced. And with all three of these girls, the knowledge was
there. They all really love what they do and they jumped right in."
of spirit and energy twice her size, said she enjoys taking things in
from her director's chair and hopes it becomes a regular spot for her
in the future, as she wants to be a director. "It's
different definitely," Fautz said of seeing things from her new
perspective. "It's also really fun because you have a say in
what you want to see. I've done a lot of plays but I like being on
the other side a lot more than being on the stage, actually."
student creative team was found, they held auditions, like any
typical show, except the students were the ones selecting the cast
after going through a casting workshop with adult theater
professionals. Fautz and Salazar then worked with their cast at
rehearsals to put on the full-length production that has been edited
and workshopped by Fautz.
you were in the audience, you may have noticed some stylistic
differences from the traditional show - all part of the way
they make it their own. All three of the team leaders came together
to shape the script, style and mood into their vision, not just what
was written for them.
imagine it, and then it's on stage," Fautz said.
students in the cast had the opportunity to participate."
"The Legend of Mulan"
- Wolf Creek Collective, Cape Coral FL
even though she was younger than most of the cast, Fautz was the
perfect fit to direct their first show. "She is not shy,
she's got a very confident personality," Kearns said. All
students in the cast had the opportunity to participate in set
design, props or costume crew as well. Kearns said a team of
dedicated adults create anything the kids can dream up. In the end,
the entire show is made from the imaginations of the youth who are
putting it on. Salazar, who took on both the role of
choreographer and stage manager, said her love of dance and having
that creative freedom was a major reason she chose to take on the challenge.
to really bring my own style to the show," Salazar said. "I
like teaching and I like dancing, so it's a good combination of both.
It gives me a chance to do it my way and teach my peers, which is
listened though each track and in her mind, put together what she
felt best captured each moment. "I put together some
lyrical and soft movement style dances, but also some hard and sharp
movement dance," she said. She was also cognizant of how
much her peers would have to learn and take in over a short period of
time. "They have to put in work and I don't want to
overwhelm them with dancing," Salazar said.
behind the scenes was no easy feat either, as Salazar constantly was
changing sets, moving props and making sure each scene had the right
backdrop and cast members. Working the booth and illuminating
those sets, Kane picked up the technological side of every production
from the pros at Cultural Park Theater during a summer camp and
stepped up to the plate for Wolf Creek. From hitting cues on
time to handling microphones and commanding the sound and light
board, there's a lot that goes into what the audience sees on stage
beyond the performers.
a lot of different lights on stage that no on really ever sees until
they're on," Kane said. "When you're creating the show, you
have to find a good mix of things and take into account what the
director likes. I was having Eden see what kind of interesting lights
she liked for each scene." Collaborating with peers is something
new for Kane but was an experience she gained from.
been interesting," she said of working with an all-youth team.
"I'm so used to being on stage and singing and dancing. I like a
challenge on the other side of the stage, and Eden and I have worked
closely together to make choices - ones that would have interesting
effects on the story."
really absorbed the knowledge, it's not forced."
"The Legend of Mulan"
- Wolf Creek Collective, Cape Coral FL
beginning, Kearns was expecting to run the show with a more
simplistic lighting style, that was until Kane jumped on board and
brought the presentation over the top.
were planning on having no tech," Kearns said, that was until
Kane volunteered her skills. "She really has amplified it to
another level. The kids had stuff we didn't think we were going to
have. She brought it to the level of shows that are put on at
it was encouraging to see the students take direction from their
contemporaries and give them their full attention and dedication.
percent they support everything that their peers say," Kearns
said. "I was a little worried about that. I think because the
kids know this is a kid-run project, they were very receptive to
learning from their peers."
Having a bit
more creative freedom from their student-director to tweak roles to
fit personalities also helped build the imaginative atmosphere,
Kearns said. "It's not just Eden's show - she's in charge
overall, but because each student got a piece of it, there was never
conflict," Kearns said.
kids know this is a kid-run project."
"The Legend of Mulan"
- Wolf Creek Collective, Cape Coral FL
second show is "The Velveteen Rabbit," directed by
12-year-old Addison Kalbhenn. Show dates are Friday, Dec. 11, at 7
p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m., at Cultural Park Theater,
located on Cultural Park Boulevard in Cape Coral.
Ed. Youth Theater Camp Performed 'Peter
Herald: Rachel Schmitz
Plaine's first live performance, since COVID, was presented by
Community Ed.'s Youth Theater Camp as they performed 'Peter
twenty-nine theater students, ranging from fourth grade to eighth
grade, Co-Directors Emma Reed and Colin Schultz, and Assistant
Director Merrik Giesen worked hard during their five-day camp.
performed live for family, friends, and other community members on
Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24. With only a short time
to plan for the show, much preparation was done beforehand.
were trying to get everything done - costumes, sets, everything -
before starting any rehearsals. We had the whole set painted and done
on Monday before we even started," said Reed. After having
auditions on Thursday, July 15, Reed said they had to trust the
students to work on memorizing their lines over the weekend in order
to be ready for rehearsal on Monday.
students were able to jump right into rehearsals."
Pan - Community
Ed.'s Youth Theater Camp, Belle Plaine MN
explained that the camp truly challenged the children and allowed
them to see what high school theater would be like. "One
thing these kids are so good at is they are really interested in
theater and this is their first taste of it. So what we try to do,
the most challenging part, is try to give them a taste of everything,
and we really push them to do things that high school students do and
talk about what theater is and how it works," said Schultz.
help of many community members, the students were able to jump right
into rehearsals. Schultz explained that one of the goals of the
community program is to involve everyone, which showed as people
helped supply props, sew costumes, paint sets, and provide food.
think when it comes to the community, it is super amazing to know
that Belle Plaine is such a supportive community and loves theater
and the arts," said Reed. Another goal of the Youth
Theater Camp is to prepare students for the high school theater programs.
strongest programs, even for sports, have strong youth programs. What
we need to do more in theater is introduce that to them. So this is
kind of giving them a taste of that," said Schultz. Reed
explained that their friendship over the years and their love for
theater have helped them during the camp to find the middle ground in
having fun and putting in the work necessary to create an amazing show.
just like a diamond; something beautiful."
Ed.'s Youth Theater Camp, Belle Plaine MN
added that the long hours of work and the dedication they put in to
prepare for the show would all be worth it when the students finally
get to perform.
just like a diamond; it has to go under pressure to become something
beautiful, and that's what's happening here. There are highs and lows
through the week, there were times where the kids were stressing us
out, there were times where we were probably annoying to the kids,
but then you get this product which is just worth it," said Schultz.
Schultz explained that they hope the students found an interest in
theater and will continue to use what they learned in the camp to
participate in more programs. "Hearing parents reach out to us
the last couple days saying, 'My kid hasn't really been interested in
sports and hasn't been finding their spot, but this is their place
and they are starting to feel like it is home.' That is amazing to
hear. These kids are young and they are still trying to figure out
what they want, but if they can feel that here, that's amazing and it
is exactly why we do this," said Schultz.
of tomorrow': Students remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s achievements
Are the Dream is performed by community groups together
TribDem.com, Johnstown, PA
than 30 years, the NAACP's Johnstown branch and community partners
have been holding memorial services in the Rev. Martin Luther King's memory.
the group decided to hand the reins to the youth they often deliver
their message to - and the result was a ceremony that celebrated King
on stage and in song.
decided to ask the youth to host the program and they decided they
didn't necessarily want to have a keynote speaker. They wanted to do
a play," said Alan Cashaw, NAACP Johnstown branch president.
King's Life in Play for Young People
NAACP Youth Council, Greater Johnstown High
School Unity Club & Christ Centered Community Church youth group.
speeches and sermons, a group of 20 children between the ages of 4
and 18 wore 1960s-era attire on Greater Johnstown High School's
Cochran Auditorium stage and retold some of King's greatest triumphs
and struggles in his fight for equality.
want freedom," children chanted, re-enacting the pivotal moment
in what later became known as the Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama.
many members of the local NAACP branch remember the turbulent 1960s
well. They remember the struggles, the marches on Washington,
D.C., and the shocking day King was gunned down on a balcony outside
a Memphis hotel room. But for the young generation standing on
stage Sunday, it might otherwise be just another chapter in a history
book, if the stories and their importance aren't kept alive, Cashaw said.
best way to remember Dr. Martin Luther King is to remember his life
... and that is what this is all about," Cashaw said. By
acting out those moments, they are learning stories they can share
with future generations, he said.
are the leaders of tomorrow," Cashaw added.
greatest triumphs and struggles in his fight for equality."
NAACP Youth Council, Greater Johnstown High
School Unity Club & Christ Centered Community Church youth group.
A crowd of
about 160 people attended the event.
Johnstown, Bishop McCort, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy East and
Conemaugh Valley students served as the actors in the play, titled "We
Are the Dream."
they were primarily local members of the NAACP Youth Council, Greater
Johnstown High School Unity Club and Christ Centered Community Church
youth group. Youth advisers Toni White and Francine Cashaw said
they began working with the group in October. They praised the
children for immersing themselves in the play, sometimes for three
days a week. Several went online and researched the styles of
the 1960s to fine-tune their looks, they said.
of them already know about Dr. King ... they've learned a lot of this
at one point or another," Francine Cashaw said. "But by
acting it out on stage, they're making it real."
opens Friday in Mountain View
by Los Altos Town Crier Staff - Town Crier Report
great mix of comedic moments and spooky fun!"
of Mountain View stars in PYT's "The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
Youth Theatre's production of the Halloween classic ArtReach's "The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
is slated to
run this weekend on the SecondStage at the Mountain View Center for
the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.
When a new
school teacher comes to Sleepy Hollow, he disrupts Brom Bones'
courtship of the fair Katrina, prompting Brom to seek revenge.
Max Venuti directs "Hollow," featuring actors Spencer Cook,
Naomi Eason, Josh Gefken, Ani Lawit, Talia Lawit, Eliott Leblond, Ben
Siegel, Olivia Spreen and Michael Tucker.
been such fun to work with this talented cast to bring this story to
the stage for my directorial debut," Venuti said. "This
entertaining script is ensemble based and has a great mix of comedic
moments and spooky holiday fun."
on Stage program, appropriate for ages 8 and above."
Peninsula Youth Theatre, The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, young cast.
PYT's Stories on Stage program, the 45-minute black-box production of "The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
for ages 8 and above. An optional 15-minute talk-back with the cast
and crew follows each performance.
shows are slated 9:30 and 11 a.m. Friday; standard performances are
scheduled 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
$11 for the Friday performances and $13 for the Saturday shows.
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.
and more information, call 903-6000 or visit mvcpa.com.
High's fall play leads audiences into 'Sleepy
Koury | Woodward Talk , MI
The students of Ferndale High School will take on a nearly
200-year-old story for the school's fall play.
students' production of ArtReach's "The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow" will bow this week, with
performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday,
Nov. 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at the high school, 881 Pinecrest Drive.
tells the story of Ichabod Crane and his attempt to win the affection
of Katrina Van Tassel while also dealing with Brom Bones, another
potential suitor, all in the peculiar village of Sleepy Hollow.
Director Melissa Smith said the play has been on the short list for a
number of years, and enough students voted for "Sleepy
Hollow" to be the 2019 production.
liked the play for the current cast she knew she had, as the way this
particular show was adapted allowed for cross-gender casting.
being a part of the creative process."
of Sleepy Hollow - Ferndale High School
male roles that are played by females; there are female roles that
are played by men," she said. "It also allows for actors to
play a variety of roles. So in several instances, students are
playing maybe anywhere from two to three different parts, with the
exception of the three main characters. So this show just allowed a
lot of flexibility in casting, which was fun and certainly makes it
easier for us to adapt it to the student population we currently have."
the role of Van Tassel is Zoe Butters, who is acting in her first
lead role after previously having been a backstage worker for a
number of shows, and taking on small roles onstage for some of the
musicals. "Since this is my senior year, this is my last
chance to be onstage in a play, and I really think that the script
and the story is very fun," she said. "There's a lot of
humor in it, and all the people who are in the theater program are
very fun to work with, and so I decided this was the year to be onstage."
17-year-old senior from Pleasant Ridge has been feeling a lot of
emotions leading up to her first major role, but none more than the
excitement to get onstage. Butters has seen the hard work from
the rest of the cast in the rehearsals leading up to the big opening
night, and she knows they're ready to put on a great performance.
cast all work really well together," she said. "We have our
amazing director, who really helps us with reading the script well.
It's not her just telling us what to do, and then us doing it. It's
us being a part of the creative process."
The cast has
been rehearsing since the middle of September, and in that time,
Smith said, the students have made considerable progress, especially
now when the technical aspects of a play - lights, costumes, makeup,
music, sound effects, etc. - are being integrated.
the different parts start having to come together, so you start
adding all the other layers, and that always kind of takes us two
steps forward, one step back in many ways, but usually by the time we
get to that Monday dress rehearsal, we've ironed out some of those
kinks and we get the train on the track," she said.
Primary School Production
Patana School, The British International School in Thailand
was enthralled by the fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland, this
years Primary Production.
to all who did such
a wonderful job."
in Wonderland - Bangkok Patana School
years Primary Production was Alice
in Wonderland, a play by Kathryn Schultz Miller, and was
performed by a fabulous cast over two shows in the Black Box Theatre.
Starring students from Years 5 and 6, the show told the well-known
story written in 1865 by English author Lewis Carroll, of Alice
falling down the rabbit hole into a peculiar fantasy world. Wonderful
acting enraptured the audience as Alice attended the Mad
Hatters Tea Party and met characters including the White
Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts.
to all the student performers and behind the scenes crew who did
such a wonderful job.
LaGrange Daily News: LTA performing The
adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic, The
Jungle Book, opened Thursday with the first of four sold out
performances at LSPA. The production features a cast of 35 Lafayette
Theatre Academy students, with an additional 11 students performing
Set in the
jungle of India, this play tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by
wolves, educated by a panther, entertained by a bear, and challenged
by monkeys, a python, and a dangerous tiger.
of second through sixth graders take the stage with poise and confidence."
Lafayette Theatre Academy is currently putting on a production of "The
Jungle Book". -Contributed
Schultz Miller, the playwright for this adaptation, makes it very
clear that this production is also about community," director
Carol Cain said. "We have been encouraged to think of how each
animal and each character in the play is important and what each
contributes to the community, a lesson that is important on the
stage, in the classroom, and in life."
she and her student actors are inspired by the law of the jungle
which is often quoted in the play.
the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is
the pack," Cain said.
friendly production, one of the special treats of the play is
of the entrances and exits of our animal and human characters are
made through the audience," Cain said. "Some of the
characters will interact with audience members and ask for their help
throughout the show. We're even asking audience members to make
a few animal noises."
As you might
expect in a play about the jungle, there are plenty of animals.
In addition to the familiar characters of Shere Khan, the tiger,
Baloo, the bear, Kaa, the python, and Bagheera the panther, there is
a jungle full of snakes, monkeys, birds, elephants, and other large creatures.
Powell, our costumer, has created elaborate turbans and headpieces
for our actors, as well as wonderful, kid-friendly costumes that give
each animal personality," Cain said. "Plus, the LSPA staff
has converted the entire Black Box theater into a jungle."
biggest treat, however, is watching this cast of second through sixth
graders take the stage with such poise and confidence," Cain
said. "They have taken the information we give them in our
Creative Dramatics classes and transferred it to their performances.
As an instructor, that's what you want to happen, and they make it
happen so beautifully in this production. Can you tell how proud I am
the fun of each performance will be the presentation of other Rudyard
Kipling stories acted out by students from two other Lafayette
Theatre Academy programs. Acting Out is the newest and youngest
academy class for Pre-K through first graders. Dramatically Unique is
an all-inclusive class which provides a transitional curriculum for
exceptional students with different abilities and limited theatrical
experience. Each of these classes will be presenting a scene from
Kipling's "Just So Stories."
production is also about community."
Lafayette Theatre Academy - ArtReach's The
on stage is a vital part of any theatre education, and these brief
scenes are the perfect way for our Acting Out and Dramatically Unique
students to perform in front of an audience without having the
pressure involved in a full-production," said Amy McDow,
director of the Lafayette Theatre Academy. "We are so proud of
each student in the academy and are thrilled to see many of them take
the stage for the first time in this engaging production."
you tell how proud I am of them?"
Lafayette Theatre Academy - ArtReach's The
Book is presented by Kid's Zone Dentistry and additionally sponsored
by All Pro Auto Group and Eastern Industries. The Lafayette
Theatre Academy is a part of the Lafayette Society for Performing
Arts, located in downtown LaGrange. Performances of The Jungle
Book are held in the LTC Black Box Theatre in their picnic theatre setting.
Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ
at The Producer's Club
By Donna Marie-Nowak, BroadwayWorld.com
Tucked away in the heart of New
York City's theater district - known as Broadway (although only those
with 500 seats or more can officially be called Broadway theaters) --
are many off- and off-off-Broadway gems like the Producer's Club
which make theater accessible and affordable to thespians and
At the Producer's Club on July
28, 2018, AlphaNYC Theater Company presented the beloved children's
classic The Wizard of Oz. It tells the indelible tale of farm girl
Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto who travel to Oz via tornado. The show
is directed by Elizabeth Aquino and the story is adapted by
award-winning playwright Kathryn Schultz Miller. Based on L. Frank
Baum's popular book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), which spawned
13 sequels, MGM's 1939 film The Wizard of Oz became one of the
greatest and most iconic films of all time, an enduring part of our
cultural history. Its sublime star Judy Garland, forever associated
with it, remains equally an icon. With its simple but profound theme
of longing for faraway worlds "over the rainbow" and
finding that those searches for our heart's desire ultimately lead
home, The Wizard of Oz is a universal and timeless story.
of Oz Off-Broadway Production
actor brings something distinctive and original to her role,
the script's engaging, child-friendly wit."
The simple backdrop depicts
cornfields and a yellow brick road, including emerald green curtains.
Perhaps one interpretation of the tale's subtext would be about
surviving through imagination and dreams. It reminds us that even in
Oz, Dorothy travels through farmlands similar to her native Kansas,
except they are suffused with color. (The book opens, in fact, with
describing the gray and joyless plains that Dorothy inhabits, noting
that Toto was not gray and made Dorothy laugh, saving her from
becoming as gray as her surroundings.) But on a literal level, the
friendly and fanciful characters and spunky "child" heroine
speak for themselves.
The story is condensed into an
economical 30 minutes to engage young audiences. Schultz Miller makes
some imaginative tweaks, while maintaining all the signature elements
of the plot (including famous lines from the film). It is an
all-female cast with each actor bringing something distinctive and
original to her role, aided by the script's engaging, child-friendly wit.
Throughout the show narrator
Veronica Murphy is perched in a corner of the stage and holding a
book, lending an apt story-time atmosphere. Kansas farm girl Dorothy
Gale and her dog Toto are whisked away to the Land of Oz by a tornado
where they meet a Scarecrow (without a brain), a Lion (without
courage) and a Tinman or, rather, Tinwoman (without a heart).
The trio of misfits join Dorothy
in her journey down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City where
they each hope the Great Wizard of Oz will give them the qualities
they lack. In Dorothy's case, she wants to go home. But when they
finally reach Oz, the Wizard tells them they must kill the Wicked
Witch of the West first before their wishes are granted.
Hannah Rahe Goodman as Dorothy
gets her spirit - a combination of sweetness ("I, the meek")
and sass when pushed. When the Wizard boasts, "I remember
everything because I am so great and wise," Dorothy says,
"You've already told us that. It's not polite to repeat
yourself." Karen Goldfarb, with great comedic presence, plays
four different characters, including Auntie Em and one of the Wicked
Witch's monkeys. She uses a broad and lively delivery that is perfect
for children and makes the adults laugh as well.
Jayla P. Corbin delights as Toto
and truly brings to mind an inquisitive, little dog; it is Toto, not
the humans, who unmask the Wizard, after all. The dog remains a vital
character, making frequent, little "ruff ruffs!" When she
meets the Scarecrow, she paws him curiously until the Scarecrow
cries, "Seriously?" She also nabs a bag of potato chips an
audience member allegedly left behind.
Sarah Middough, playing both
Glinda, the Good Witch, and the Wicked Witch of the West, is utterly
sensational. Schulz Miller has reimagined the Wicked Witch as
one-eyed, which makes a wonderful visual like a squinting pirate, and
Middough uses great physical flourish and vocals deliciously
recalling Margaret Hamilton's unforgettable film witch. ("They
don't call me wicked for nothing," she pipes at one point.)
cast is rounded out by Ambrealys as the Scarecrow, Catherine E.
Seraceno as the Cowardly Lion, Stacy DeGolier as the Tinwoman and
Niki Rose Woods as both the Gatekeeper and the Wizard. They are all
delightful and play beautifully to the kids in the audience, being
both engaging and relatable.
At the end of the show, children
in the audience are invited to come onstage and take photos with
their favorite characters. One little girl didn't want to leave the stage.
of Oz offers a little bit of magic on a shoestring and a way to
introduce children to beloved classics. It also enables families to
go to the theater without breaking the bank. Best of all, it's fun
for all ages and frequently made me laugh out loud. (When the
Scarecrow finally gets her brain, she crows, "I before E except
after C" to prove it.)
THE WIZARD OF OZ played at the
Producer's Club on July 28, 2018 at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm. The
Producer's Club is located at 358 West 44th Street in New York City.
theater presents Jungle Book
By Audrey Caro, Polk County Itemizer-Observer
MONMOUTH The themes of
community and family that run through The
Jungle Book also are apparent in The Apple Box Childrens
Theater production of the Rudyard Kipling classic.
The theater collaborated with
several other entities, including Arts Integrated Ministry,
Childrens Educational Theater and Central High Schools
performing arts department, said Rob Harriman.
really cool. Im really enjoying it.
Rob Harriman coaches the cast of The
Jungle Book before rehearsal
Most of the masks used in the
play are from Central High School, he said, and Apple Box has lent
costumes to CHS for other productions. Western Oregon University is
taking care of the sound.
Its a reminder that
for as small of (an area) as this is, there is a huge pool of people
invested in doing this, Harriman said. There are four
solid kids theater programs (in the area).
Harriman is directing the play
and Barbara Harriman, his wife, is the production manager. Rob read
through the book with their daughter Fiona and she added some scenes,
Kathryn Schultz Miller adapted
the book. The author of the play said do whatever you
want with it, Harriman said. We recalibrated the play to
make it fit into our vision of the authors vision.
Harriman said he enjoys the theme of community and working together
that is implied throughout The Jungle Book.
The story follows the journey of
Mowgli, a boy who was raised by a family of wolves since his birth,
but must flee his home for safety from Shere Khan, the tiger.
The biggest challenge will be breaking away from the Disney
version of the story, Harriman said.
The Apple Box Childrens
Theater production of The
Jungle Book is truer to the source material, he
said. They reinserted the poems that are at the beginning of
each chapter in Kiplings book.
In its eighth season, the
theater group is experiencing some firsts with The Jungle Book
production its the largest cast, at 51, and it is the
first production that features choreography.
Children from The Dance &
Fitness Studio were in last years play and were asked to be
involved this year, Harriman said. Thats how we got
so many kids, he said.
There are four dance numbers,
choreographed by Janey Jefferson and Bethany Allen, the dance studio.
In auditions, we asked if
they wanted to dance, Harriman said. A lot of the kids
were really excited about dancing.
story follows the journey of Mowgli."
The cast of The
Jungle Book rehearses a scene at Western
The casts for Apple Box Theater
productions are 8 to 14 years old. Veteran participant Haley Taylor,
16, passed the age limit to act in the plays, so she is taking on the
role of assistant manager/stage director.
Its fun to see from
new perspective, Taylor said. Its really cool.
Im really enjoying it.
(Photos by Audrey Caro)
PCC play 'Cranes'
is all about hope
By Nicky Hamila For the Arizona
Betsy Kruse Craig has the
ultimate teaching tool: Theater.
Craig has been instrumental in
bringing theater for children to the Pima Community College stage.
Based on a true story, it's
about a young girl named Sadako Sasaki who lived in Hiroshima. She
was 2 when the atom bomb was dropped on the city, and 12 when she was
diagnosed with leukemia from the radiation.
have a voice that is powerful."
Pima Community College, AZ
It touches on culture, war,
self-empowerment, empathy. And that's just for starters.
Japanese legend holds that if a
sick person folds a thousand cranes, the gods will make the person
Sadako starts folding cranes in
hopes she will recover. It's a task she can't complete she
lives long enough to fold 644 cranes. Her classmates fold the rest
and bury them with her.
"She is the icon for hope
and peace," Craig said. "I think it's important for kids to
understand that they have a voice and that their voice is powerful."
The play also teaches about war
and its ravages.
"There have been children
throughout history that have had to go through war," Craig said.
"I think it's important for kids to know how other children have
lived in countries of war. . . . For a piece like this, it teaches
you about culture and history and sympathy and empathy."
And that makes "A Thousand
Cranes" a play of a different sort.
"It's less of a play,"
said Craig, "and more of an epic poem."
Presented by: Pima
Community College Theatre Arts.
By: Kathryn Schultz Miller.
Director: Betsy Kruse Craig.
When: 7 p.m. Fri and Sat;
2 p.m. Sat and Sun through Oct. 5.
Running time: 60 minutes,
with no intermission.
play entertains area children
Panola College Theatre
Department presented The
Legend of Mulan
The Panola College Theatre Department will
present The Legend of Mulan
A Childrens Play at 10 a.m., Friday, May 3,
and at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4, in the Q.M. Martin Auditorium.
Both performances are free and open to the public.
The Legend of Mulan is an
interactive play for children of all ages, said Karen King,
theatre director. This play is our annual childrens event
for area schools. We have invited several area schools to bring their
students to the play.
The 1998 Disney movie is now considered a
classic, but the story of Mulan is adapted from ancient Chinese
legend about a young girl who takes her fathers place in
battle. She becomes a warrior-heroine and her story is a cultural
icon for the Chinese people.
The Legend of Mulan is an exciting play about
the tale of the heroic Mulan, a woman living in Northern Wei Dynasty
China, who has snuck into the army to save China so that her wounded
father will not have to fight again against the barbaric Huns. Mulan
takes her fathers sword and rises to the challenge to fight in
the Chinese Army.
audience was invited to hold their swords high, shout, stomp and clap."
The Panola College Theatre Department, TX
- ArtReach's The Legend of Mulan
Panola College Theatre Department presented The
Legend of Mulan on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, in the
Q.M. Martin Auditorium. Designed for childrens theatre, the
play invites the audience to interact with the cast. Theatre students
handed out play swords and, on cue, the audience was invited to hold
their swords high, shout, stomp and clap.
Set in ancient China, The Legend of
Mulan, involves the audience in assisting Mulan in her efforts
to defeat the Huns.
Cast members included Peyton Proffitt, Justin
Gonzales, Tony Jeter, Jasmine Ryan, Abby Parrish, Sarah Owens,
Christian Kotara, Keath Kibbey, Bethany Crowe, Lacie Sepulvado, Angel
Kammer, Addie Pope, Tailer Chong and Shelby Watson.
Crew members included Maria Mejai, Kyree
Williams, Katy Chance, Bethany Crow, Catalina Zoyquilla, Hannah
Williams and Jesse Williams.
The play was directed by Karen King, professor
of theatre, and Kyree Williams, student director. The play was
presented with special permission from ArtReach Childrens
Photos by Katy Chance.
Wizard of Oz' by Middlebury Elementary School
"One hundred sixty students
took part in their first theatrical experience; one played the Wizard
"A heart is not judged by how much you
love, but by how much you are loved by others." - Wizard in 'The
Wizard of Oz'
Middlebury, CT - One hundred sixty students
that attend Middlebury Elementary School are clearly loved a lot by
others. With great joy, they presented a lovely production of 'The
Wizard of Oz' on the stage of Memorial Middle School on Thursday
evening with the help of many parents and staff members of their
school. Only one performance remains on Friday evening at 7pm and
admission is one item for the Middlebury Food Bank.
Director MaryLou Torre, the interim principal
of Middlebury Elementary School, understands the importance of
theatre in our schools. "The project was all about process. The
rehearsals and practices were as much as a part of the experience as
the performance you will see tonight. Fun and freedom of expression
for the students and the directors were key goals along this journey."
and Freedom of Expression"
This version of the classic book by L. Frank
Baum is a play adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller. It included a huge
chorus of "vivacious" students in a rainbow of t-shirts
that narrated the story with choral reading from the bleachers house
left. The cast included six different girls in the role of Dorothy,
four different Scarecrows, two Tin Man characters, two Lions, two
Gatekeepers and many, many others. Everyone had their own wonderful
costume; kudos to Amy Raefski on her adorable design work and to the
large costume crew.
Corinna Flanagan and Kathy Miller served as the
Art Director/Set Design team. The panels of the set were painted by a
large group of students (shout out to Nick Salvucci) that got to wear
cool painted t-shirts on opening night. Michael Kaulins served as AD
and Lydia McCarthy did the choreography. Chris Turecek was the Music
Director/Tech Director. Community theatre actor/dad Ian Diedrich did
the prop construction, including the head of the wizard painted on a
white curtain; shout out to Kalman Zold who played Oz. Michaela
Turecek did the pretty impressive make-up for the actors that needed
an unnatural face color. I had a great reserved seat in the front
row, but the sound with microphones on stands was really very good
throughout the gym.
A bunch of young male actors was the pretty
adorable Flying Monkeys with Luke Humphrey as Chimp, Emma
Taglialatella as Scamp and Kyleigh Favale as Rascal. Eva Guerrera
rocked the role of the "they don't call me wicked for
nothing" Witch and melted impressively. Addison Mitchell and
Owen Lattanzio did well with the shared role of the Gatekeepers. Ryan
Dawes and Madison Ferguson were both good Lions and Cole Hughes and
Luke Jackson in full silver were effective Tin Man, I mean Men.
Scarecrows were Matteo DelBuono, Caitlin Flaherty, Peter Skabardonis,
and Kiera Daweese.
don't call me wicked for nothing..."
Glinda in the classic pink dress and crown was
played well by Rachel Anderson, accompanied by bubbles. Featured
Munchkins included Ryan Murray (Joe,) Emily Raefski (Curly,) and
Hunter Diedrich returned to the stage to play Burly. Leah Wasserstein
was Auntie Em and Jack Sedensky was Uncle Henry. Joey Bernardi barked
well in the role of Toto because there was no stuffed dog in a basket
in this play. The poppy scene gave new meaning to "pulling my
leg" in a cute way.
The gaggle of girls in the blue and white
gingham included Emma Kulla, Faith Graziano, Lauren Anderson, Grace
Jackson, Elizabeth Raefski and Aubrey Guiditta. The most adorable
Munchkins specialized in stealing hearts in their floral hats and
technicolor outfits. Best featured ensemble was billed as "The
Forest" and included Brailee Batista, Evan Deschaine, Lilyana
Reed and Shaelyn Walsh as the apple-throwing trees with lots of attitude.
The curtain closed between the scenes and if
the transitions were a bit long, what the audience saw when they
reopened was worth the wait. The students could never be heard
backstage and that can be hard for the very young. The director
shared during her curtain speech that the young thespians, some as
young as six, had been practicing since January, during which time
their "little school play" grew into a full 55-minute
production. The students all knew their lines and if they hadn't
expected to perform in front of people sitting in the 600 seats, it
did not show.
Thank you to this elementary school staff for
giving most of these young performers their first theatrical
experience in a safe setting. Congratulations on a job well done.
Grove South hosts "Kid
Ostry, Bugle Reporter
Newspapers, IL, 2019
production "Kid Frankenstein"
was officially brought to life at Downers Grove South High School
Friday night, exciting many young viewers and their families.
to the original Frankenstein story that is meant for a more
experienced crowd, South put on this performance by getting the
audience involved, primarily the kids.
running around the auditorium, jokes, puns and more exciting
connections between the performers and audience took place, which
Director Justin Matkovich said, it was all just part of the plan.
thing about children's theatre specifically is that the extra cast
member is the audience," Matkovich said. "A lot of these
children productions need to have that extra interaction with them
because they performed today for kindergarteners through six graders,
most kids that age wont follow the plot of a Shakespeare drama."
scientists were played by Carson Aldrich, Sam Selakovich and Janella
Guzman, while the Monster was played by Max Fido, and the
"adult" Frankenstein was played by Jacob Gierhahn.
premise behind this novel, which was written in 1818, is a story of
Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous, sapient
creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.
kind to each other is what this story was about."
Frankenstein at Downers Grove South School, Plainfield IL
is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic Movement.
At the same
time, it is an early example of science fiction, which in contrast to
previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later
science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate
decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the
laboratory" to achieve fantastic results.
novel's publication, the name "Frankenstein" has often been
used to refer to the monster itself. In the novel,
Frankenstein's creation is identified by words such as
"creature", "monster", "wretch",
"abortion", "fiend" and "it".
other people by getting that emotion out of them whether that is
them laughing or crying is my job," Fido said. "The
childish jokes, interacting with the audience and the camaraderie all
of us have performing in a show like this is what makes it worth it."
is portrayed at the beginning of the show as he has been for over a
century as a eccentric, gargantuan freakishly hideous monster, but at
the end of the play at the much built up science fair, everyone
learns he just wants to be loved. Fido and Matkovich both said this
is a children's play and it is meant for humor, but there is
certainly a moral human element that they both wanted the crowd to
take away from the performance.
relate to Frankenstein and the play a little bit because when a was a
freshman coming into high school, I'm sure like most people, feel a
little weird or even like a outcast and you don't really understand
how to meet friends," Fido said. "Just like in the play,
Frankenstein wasn't sure how to relate to people so no one understood him."
essentially the idea of friendship and not being kind to each other
is the ultimate moral of what this story was about," Matkovich
said. "Keeping friendship, keeping people around you and not
pushing people away is the most important thing to remember about
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