(Page #9) has great articles from newspapers and school
newsletters. Check out all these great comments about ArtReach
popular titles: The Jungle Book, Mulan,
The Wizard of Oz.
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 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
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)
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.