FREE RESOURCES: In the News [ Page 2 ]
News media articles, reviews, press releases for ArtReach plays
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This page (Page #2) has great articles from newspapers and school newsletters.  Check out all these great comments about ArtReach popular titles: Wizard of Oz, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Kid Frankenstein, Aladdin, Snow White, We are the Dream, Sleepy Hollow, Christmas Peter Pan, Emperor's New Clothes, Robin Hood, Mulan, A Thousand Cranes, Amelia Earhart, Pinocchio.

FAME Academy at Brookhill presents ArtReach's The Wizard of Oz
By C.P. Bailey, The News Courier, Athens AL

Second and third graders at FAME Academy at Brookhill recently presented their production of "The Wizard of Oz" to the student body, parents, teachers, and guests. After months of rehearsals and a dress rehearsal attended by their peers Thursday, May 4, Dorothy and her friends took the stage Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, to deliver two spectacular performances.  The play was directed by FAME Academy's Integrated Arts Specialist Nathan Woolard.

"Second & third graders a presented 'The Wizard of Oz.'"
Multiple Dorothies in ArtReach's Wizard of Oz play Second and third graders in ArtReach's Wizard of Oz playscript
ArtReach's The Wizard of Oz - FAME Academy at Brookhill

"This is the first year we have had this position at the school. A big part of that was bringing in the theater program, and we tried to have a play that could have a lot of kids get involved but also be at their level. It was a much larger undertaking than I originally thought, but it worked out very well," Woolard said.

The show included multiple scenes and set changes, wonderful costumes, and brilliant performances by all who participated.

Woolard noticed a big change in his students from the first rehearsal until the performances. Many were timid in the beginning, but they "really went for it" during the performances.

Kaine Colze played the Wizard of Oz and, having seen the movie, he was familiar with the character. He was excited to earn the role but also said it was challenging at times.

"I had got the role I wanted which was Dorothy. I was so happy."
Large Cast Play for Kids Wizard of Oz Lots of girls play Dorothy in Wizard of Oz
ArtReach's The Wizard of Oz - Hullabaloo Performing Arts Youth Theatre, Heath OH

"There was one line that wasn't really in my binder - 'And here's a medal for a symbol of you courage,'" Colze said.

Kensli Harris played a Munchkin named Curly, one of the three lead Munchkins. Originally, she was cast as one of the six extra Munchkins.

"When I learned I was in the play, I was so happy. Then when I learned I was playing Curly, I had to get my lines together. I practiced really hard at home, got my lines together, and did really good," Harris said.

Dorothy (No. 1) was played by Sadie Macy, and she had seen the movie "many times."

"A play that could have a lot of kids get involved - at their level."
Kids love ArtReach's Wizard of Oz play Play for Kids to perform Wizard of Oz Play poster for Sizard of Oz
ArtReach's The Wizard of Oz - Hullabaloo Performing Arts Youth Theatre, Heath OH

"I was very excited to learn I was in the play. I have always liked to pretend to be like someone else while also being myself. I like to be in front of audiences, and I like expressing myself very much. I was happy to learn I was in the play and that I had got the role I wanted to play which was Dorothy. I was so happy," Macy said.

The cast first began rehearsing for The Wizard of Oz in February and their final dress rehearsal was in front of the entire school. The response was filled with laughter and applause throughout the scenes.

"At first it made me very nervous, but it also made me feel like they knew we were going to do great. They could just feel it. I knew I didn't want to let them down. I was going to do great for them," Macy said.

Colze hopes to have the opportunity to be in more plays as he moves on to Athens Intermediate School. Macy will be moving to Athens Bible School next fall where she hopes to try out for more plays. Harris has one more year at Brookhill and is excited to learn what play will be selected next year, and she has plans to audition for it.

"I knew it was going to be great for them."
Kids perform in Wizard of Oz school show Wizard of Oz art poster for Kids
ArtReach's The Wizard of Oz - Wyalusing Public Library, PA

"For now, we are just doing one big play a year. We do a talent show the first half of the year. We are trying to help kids to get out and help with their speaking skills or, as Sadie said, learn to express themselves," Woolard said. "We had art and we had music, theater is the natural one to help round it out and help us truly be an arts school."

Woolard wasn't ready to reveal the show they will do next year. He said, "We will do another play that will get a lot of the kids involved. It will be a similar fun play like this one."

Auburn Area Community Theater grows with ArtReach's "The Jungle Book"
The Auburn Villager AL - Allison Blankenship, Associate Editor

The Auburn Area Community Theatre recently wrapped up performances of its latest children's production, "The Jungle Book" packing the house for each showing.

At the last performance on Monday night, community members lined up outside the door in hopes of being let in.  "People were waiting in line for 15 minutes after showtime just to see if they could get a seat for it," said Terry Kelley, AACT board president. "The more we accelerate what we offer, the worse it has been."

 "AACT has seen the number of participants grow substantially."
Kids perform The Jungle Book play Kids play for The Jungle Book
ArtReach's The Jungle Book - Emerald Heights Academy, Bellevue WA

"The Jungle Book" was the theater's 52nd production since its inception 14 years ago. In the last decade, AACT has seen the number of participants and audience members grow substantially.

"When we first started, we didn't do kids' shows. Once we did, we would have maybe 30 to 40 kids (audition), and now, for any show, we have 80 or more," said Cora Connelly, AACT board member and volunteer. "We now have a history of kids who've grown up in this theater ... You see a lot of kids who came through here and are now actually in the professional acting world. Then, so many didn't become actors, but they learned so much about being confident, being a part of a team and, for a lot of kids, it's about finding a place you belong."

The cast of "The Jungle Book" was made of 40 children, and after counting all the parents and volunteers, about 125 people worked on putting the show together. "It truly is community theater," Connelly said.  But what happens when the community outgrows what the theater is currently able to offer?

The community theater currently holds its educational classes, rehearsals and performances at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center. The AACT has to coordinate its activities with local clubs, city programs and the like, and has sought storage elsewhere for set materials, props and costumes because of a lack of space.

"We now have a history of kids who've grown up in this theater."
The Jungle Book for Community Theatres Kids perform theatre version the jungle book
Auburn Area Community Theatre, Auburn AL - Ardtornish School, St Agnes, SA Australia

"We have all of our props and sets stored in five different little storage units," Kelley said. "If we do a performance, we have to build the set in my backyard or somebody's garage."

Because sets are built off-site, they are installed the Saturday before performances start, and once the curtain falls on the final performance of a series, the entire set is taken down and toted back to storage units.  "It's amazing the quality that AACT has produced with those limitations," Kelley said.

The board is actively looking for more space in which to operate and is "waiting with bated breath" to hear the results of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan - a city initiative that will help prioritize future recreation, cultural arts and library projects. The results will be shared in a public forum, for which a date has yet to be announced.  "We were hoping for a little bit more from the master plan, but we can't rely on that," said Kelley, who expects the plan to focus more on athletics. "We have to look on our own.

"We really appreciate what the city of Auburn has done for us; they've been huge supporters, but we're outgrowing the space for performance."

Aside from finding more space in which to function, Kelley said he would like to expand the programs AACT offers - its performances and classes.

"We'd love to do adult acting classes," he said. "Earlier this year we had a stage management acting class for adults and had a wonderful turnout for that. We want to offer that and directing classes ... We just want to expand what we do to serve the community because we're all part of the community."

"Theater allows people to expand their minds."
Kids love The Jungle Book playscript Kaa the Snake in The Jungle Book
Emerald Heights Academy, Bellevue WA - Ardtornish School, St Agnes, SA Australia

Kelley and Connelly agreed that working with the AACT is a labor of love, as it is for most of the volunteers who work hours on end to sew costumes, build sets and choreograph dances, among other things.

"Theater allows people to expand their minds. It allows them to see things that they may not see just by watching television," Kelley said. "It allows the actors and behind-the-stage folks and directors to put their talents to work to create something wonderful."

Kelley got involved in theater in high school and hasn't looked back since. "I was a shy and introverted person in high school," he said. "My junior year, I stepped on stage, and I fell in love with theater. Acting helps me overcome that shyness and has had a profound effect on the rest of my life ... I think it's helping kids a lot. We have shy children that will show up and by the end, they're talking, asking, 'What else can we do? How can we help?' "

As AACT works to elevate its programs and theater space, Kelley and Connelly encourage Auburn residents to get involved. Volunteers are always needed and residents who wish to contribute monetarily can donate to become a member of the AACT.  The theater's membership program is new and is the result of the board and volunteers working to increase fundraising instead of simply relying on ticket sales to get the nonprofit through each performance season.

 "They put their talents to work to create something wonderful."
The large cast of the The Jungle Book play
ArtReach's The Jungle Book - Osceola Children's Theatre, IA

"Up until this point, we have been entirely surviving off ticket sales and breaking even that way," Connelly said. "This is the first year we've started with really deliberate fundraising. We just started membership and donor levels, but I think a lot of people - they come to a show and they don't realize the show is a part of something bigger."

Colorful, whimsical 'Alice' showcases creativity of Stage Kids
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland is whimsical show for young performers
Wenatchee World, WA

WENATCHEE - Stage Kids programs tend to fill up quickly and performance tickets go quickly, too. Registration for spring and summer classes and camps opens Feb. 28.

All 10 performances of the Stage Kids production of "Alice in Wonderland" sold out tickets more than a week in advance of the whimsical show. It will be performed at the Beacon Hill Grange in Wenatchee on Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4.

Feb. 14 was the first run-through of the show while wearing costumes. The show is double cast with 44 total actors. Young performers sat in newly purchased chairs that surround the stage on three sides at the Grange to ask questions at the top of rehearsal. Stage Kids had also purchased with grant money new tiered-seating platforms to improve visibility.

"The show is double cast with 44 total actors."
Alice in Wonderland Play for Stage Kids. Script for Alice in Wonderland play.
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland - Stage Kids, Wenatchee WA

Picture: Alice, played by Rosemary Holcomb, left, and the Queen of Hearts, played by Vivian White, rehearse a scene for Stage Kids' production of "Alice in Wonderland," Tuesday. The lead role of Alice is shared between eight young actors. The sold-out show will be performed at the Beacon Hill Grange in Wenatchee on Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4.

Picture: Mad Hatter, played by Charlie Campbell, left, and March Hare, played by Marie Campbell, drink tea during a scene at dress rehearsal, Tuesday, for Stage Kids' production of Alice in Wonderland.

The seating surrounds three sides of the stage area, which has scenic backdrops of mushroom houses fit for a Caterpillar (Ruby Johnson, Oren Fuwiler) to lounge on, and which might make a girl change sizes if she takes a nibble from either side.

The lead role of Alice is shared between four actresses (Katherine Hendrickson, Brooklyn Eberth, Aniya Madariaga, Ellie Parker in Cast A and Rosemary Holcomb, Nellie Bruno, Auggie Smith and Emerson Thomason in Cast B); all are all in blue dresses with white aprons.

The first Alice introduces the Lewis Carol story by chasing the White Rabbit (Ella Grass, Gianna Hisey) down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. The second Small Alice drinks a potion and shrinks to fit through a door with a talking doorknob. The third grows tall by climbing a ladder representing a tree top, and encounters the Cheshire Cat (Maci Devine, Coralie Kummer) with a grin.

"It's a really good life skill to be more confident and brave."
Middle School Kids Perform Alice in Wonderland Great play for middle schools.
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland - Warner Middle School, Xenia OH

For a lot of people in the cast, this is their first show, though they must have at least taken the Musical Theatre 1 class. At the rehearsal, before lights and sound are installed, much time was spent directing the actors to move quickly between scenes.

Some have been with Stage Kids for several shows. Malari and Makaila Musgrove are sisters who play Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in "Alice in Wonderland." They have also performed with Stage Kids in "Elf," "Charlotte's Web," "Seussical Jr." and "Willie Wonka."

Makaila Musgrove said she likes that "I can be myself."

Auggie Smith plays Little Alice, and said she likes to play with dramatic personalities to show a different part of herself. She said, "Stage Kids is so creative. We improvise. It's a really good life skill to be more confident and brave."

"Audiences will like the funny, interactive parts."
Alice in Wonderland play for Middle Schools Middle School Kids Performance
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland - Warner Middle School, Xenia OH

Emerson Thomason plays Tall Alice, and says the audiences will like the funny, interactive parts of this play. Actor Salem Winterstein said - while smiling with her friends and castmates - the environment is "healthy," with "no judgements and no mean comments."

Director Michelle McCormick said for this show she let go a bit so the young actors could choose their own brightly colored costumes for their roles from the stock at the Stage Kids costume storage unit.

"All 10 performances of "Alice in Wonderland" were sold out."
Alice in Wonderland for Kids to Perform
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland - Stage Kids, Wenatchee WA

Director-in-training Anni Evans will direct the winter show, which has not yet been announced. Evans wrote scenes to add to this play script, including a rhyming intro to encourage audience participation. The hope is to encourage the audience to laugh out loud when the Mad Hatter (Annesley Edwards, Charlie Campbell) and the March Hare (Addison Edwards, Marie Campbell) have their staring contest.

Upcoming classes for 3rd-8th graders include intros to theater, puppetry, contemporary dance, clowning and props training. PreK-2nd graders get a workshop based on "Beauty and the Beast." This summer's teen show is "Newsies Jr." in August.

James Strath students ready to bring 'Frankenstein' story to life on March 5
WhatsOn by Lance Anderson, Peterborough This Week, Ontario

"Kid Frankenstein" is a funny, charming story."
Kid Frankenstein Play for Kids ArtReach's playscript "Kid Frankenstein"
James Strath student Mitchell Shedden, as The Monster, rehearses a scene from the school's latest production titled Kid Frankenstein.
Approximately 30 students have been working on the play since January. The play is based on the famous Frankenstein story.

James Strath Public School students are bringing new life to the famous Frankenstein story.

Since January, approximately 30 students in grades 7 and 8 have been preparing to stage the play Kid Frankenstein, a fun take on Mary Shelley's frightening story about a scientist who brings a monster to life.

"Kid Frankenstein" is a funny, charming story about Frankie, a young scientist, and Irving (aka Igor), her long suffering friend. Frankie receives a mysterious book called "How I did it" by Doctor Frankenstein, and so begins her quest to create life. She thinks she has put the brain of a recently deceased brilliant monkey into her creature, but has she?

"A mysterious book from Doctor Frankenstein."
Kid-Friendly Frankenstein Play Play Performed by Students, Frankenstein
James Strath students Peter Caldwell, Sarah McGinn, Georgia Dueck, Mitchell Shedden and Eunsae Lee
rehearse a scene from the school's latest production, Kid Frankenstein.

ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein was written by Kathryn Schultz Miller.  The play is being staged at the Brealey Drive school in Peterborough on March 5 at 7 p.m.   Tickets are $10 at the door which goes back into the James Strath drama program to help fund next year's production.<aml>

Calling all children: "Aladdin" like you have never seen it
The Paly Voice, Palo Alto (CA) - Maddy Jones, Author

Children and parents alike will be able to watch and enjoy Palo Alto High School Theater Department's adaptation of ArtReach's "Aladdin" retold from a whimsical and quirky perspective.

"It's about 45 minutes in length, very lively and creative with minimal sets, fun costumes, multimedia, live and recorded sound effects and even some audience participation," director Nancy Sauder said.

Showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sept. 29, and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Oct. 1, in the Haymarket Theater. The performances on Saturday are open to the public and the performances on Tuesday are only for visiting students. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door, while the student matinees on Tuesday will be free.

"It's a very creative and lively adaptation."
Strorytellers in Aladdin Play script High School Students perform ArtReach's Aladdin
Palo Alto High School Theater Department's production of ArtReach's "Aladdin"

"We wanted to offer elementary schools in the district the opportunity to bring their students to Paly for student matinees at no charge," Sauder said. "These types of performances are many times a child's first experience of live theatre so it's significant for all involved."

According to Sauder, the play is aimed at a younger audience and will hopefully attract kids from the local elementary schools to come get a taste of what theater is like. While the play is aimed towards children, Sauder said that there will still be something in it for the parents viewing it too.

"Our goal was to give our high school actors the opportunity to play to young audiences, which is a highly rewarding experiences, and very different than playing primarily to adults," Sauder said.

Aladdin has been adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller for Paly's Theater Department and will differ from the Disney version. The play features new "wacky characters" and some of the names of main characters are different, according to Sauder.

"The play itself is very whimsical and quirky."
Magic Carpet Aladdin Aladdin play for High School Students
Palo Alto High School Theater Department's production of ArtReach's "Aladdin"

"It's not a musical, but we have added some musical touches of our own," Sauder said. "It's a very creative and lively adaptation written by Kathryn Schultz Miller."

The play features characters that are silly and is humorous, according to freshman cast member Claire Eberhart.

"The play itself is very whimsical and quirky," Eberhart said. "And hopefully, we can interest some of the children watching to join theatre and maybe do [theater] at Paly down the line."

STARS presents 'Snow White' School Play
Unita County Herald, Evanston WY, By: Kayne Pyatt

EVANSTON - Once again, the STARS Dance & Musical Theatre under the direction of Laurel Higdon and Caddie Welling produced a fun and entertaining evening for an audience that filled the Davis Middle School auditorium on Friday, Dec. 6.

Rising Stars Kids Snow White Show

Seventy-four children danced, acted and enthralled the audience with their acrobatic feats in a play titled "A Snow White Christmas," written by Kathryn Schultz Miller. The story was based on the Snow White fairy tale, with seven elves, animal friends, the evil queen, the Prince and Snow White, and even added Santa Claus to the cast.

"We had some of the best talent this year as many of the children have been in our program for several years now and are seasoned performers. This was a really fun show to produce," Welling said.

Other instructors at STARS include Ashli Johnson, Jenni Hogman and Jaeli Higdon who teach acrobat, ballet, tap and hip hop; ShanDee Welling and Monique McInnis are in charge of cheerleading; Amanda Bounds teaches tumbling and RoShawn Jones is the clogging instructor. Voice instruction is given by Jenni Hogman.

"This was a really fun show to produce."
A Christmas Snow White Kids Perform Snow White
ArtReach's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Rising Stars Youth Theatre, Palatine IL

Welling said she is thrilled with the community support for their program. Classes meet once a week at the Aspen Church and they produce two shows a year. They are a nonprofit organization and do fundraising to support the program. They keep the ticket fee for shows at only $5 per person so families can afford to attend.

The spring show will be based on the story of Alice in Wonderland. Anyone interested in joining the STARS classes can call Welling at (307) 679-7369. 

"Being involved with theater and music from a very young age gives kids an advantage when they are in the higher grades. It helps them get over fear and shyness, build confidence, learn to work together as a team, and all the time they just have fun," Welling said.

We Are The Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King Performance
St. Francis of Assisi School Marks Black History Month
By Sister Annette 

Our Black History Program began with Principal, Mrs. Lewis, welcoming the families and friends of our students who had come to enjoy the production of ArtReach's "We are the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr." by Kathryn Schultz Miller. According to tradition, the performance was preceded by the audience, faculty, staff and student body joining together in the singing of the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by James Weldon Johnson.

"Audience, faculty, staff and student body joining together."
School Performance for Black History Month Martin Luther King Play for Schools
ArtReach Children's Theatre Plays: We Are the Dream the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

A prelude was offered by Sr. Kathleen's Pre K and Kindergarten. They performed "Siyahamba", singing the lyrics in Swahili and accompanying themselves with rhythm sticks. This was followed by the dramatic presentation of the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Students of Pre-K through Grade 6 made up the choir and the cast of characters.  The program opens with a teacher explaining to her class the dream of Martin Luther KIng and announcing that he would be coming to visit their school.  The play unfolds by offering vignettes of various events in the life and growth of Dr. King.  He is first portrayed as a young boy and the script offers insight into some of the early experiences of Martin as he learns the effects of segregation. The plot moves on to Martin's proposal to Coretta Scott.

"Students of Pre-K through Grade 6 Performed."
Martin Luther King Play for Kids to Perform We Are The Dream
Young Martin with his parents considering the purchase of new shoes.
Coretta is unsure of her desire to leave her cultured life to share in the dream of Martin.

Dr. King really began his public pursuit of racial equality in the wake of Rosa Parks' courageous stand on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  Thus her story became part of the performance.  Woven throughout the story of Dr. King's life, were renditions of spirituals and Civil Rights era songs by the student choir.  Selections in included "My Lord, What a Morning", Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen", Oh Happy Day",  "We Shall Overcome" and "Free At Last".

"Woven throughout Dr. King's life, were renditions of spirituals."
Rosa Parks from We Are The Dream Play Sr. Kathleen directing We Are The Dream Play
Rosa Parks was tired of being discriminated against.
Sister Kathleen Directed and guided the students throughout the program.
After many hours of practice and concern the students of St. Francis “did her proud”!

The cruelty dealt to the youth who participated in the Birmingham Children's March was portrayed powerfully by the students as a sound track from the actual event played in the background.  The audience was solemnly silent as this moment was replayed before them.

"Children's March was portrayed powerfully by the students."
Black History in Play for Students We Are the Dream: Th Legacy of Martin Luther King
The students fell to the floor as the scene in Alabama of the fire hoses and dogs attacking the children was enacted.
Martin Luther Kings speech “I Have A Dream” was was the crowning point of the program.

The scenes of the drama continued with the latter part of Dr. King's life and the apprehension he and his family endured due to his activism.  A recording of Dr. King's voice boomed out over the audience in the well known words of his "I Have A Dream" speech.  Our student actor froze in witness form as this speech played.  The members of the choir, as well as the rest of the student body, sang the spirituals from their hearts and in full voice.

"The little ones sang their hearts out!"
Musical for Kids, Martin Luther King Everyone sings in We Are the Dream
The choir sang Spirituals and Civil Rights era songs.  The little ones sang their hearts out!
All the members of the cast joined together in the closing song; “We Shall Overcome”.

As the last notes of the closing song rang out through the church, all breathed the joyful words, "Free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last!"  There was much to be proud and happy about in the St. Francis School community.

Crane Attraction:  'Legend of Sleepy Hollow' comes to life at Covey
Review, Daily Herald, Provo UT

The Covey Center for the Arts' production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" combines humor with horror to create a unique experience for audience members.  Washington Irving's classic story, as dramatized by Kathryn Schultz Miller and directed by Jarom Brown, is perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit this season.

"Just the right mix of comedy, suspense and thrill."
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Play Performance for Family Audiences The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - The Covey Center for the Arts

The play takes audiences back to Puritan New England where stories of witches, demons and ghosts haunt the town. The new school master of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane, finds himself in frightening predicaments as he navigates life, love, fear and the church bridge.

The set was in a black-box theater and conveyed a creepy country town, but it was the lighting that changed the mood from a warm autumn afternoon to a dark night through the use of black-lights and warm amber lights. This setting was the perfect atmosphere for the actors to get into character and become the boys and girls of Sleepy Hollow.

"The most frightening was the Headless Horseman."
Set for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The set for “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at the Covey Center for the Arts.

Before the opening-night performance of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" began, a storyteller told two stories to frighten the audience. Unfortunately, the stories felt out of place and detracted from the theme of the evening. The lack-luster opening was the only downside of this particular performance however.

Funny character quirks and rhythm the actors embodied seemed natural, as did the seventeenth-century body movements.

Shelley Boyd, the dramaturg for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," said that she helped the actors understand the proper etiquette of the time period. She said she worked with the actors on a variety of movements, including how to point and bow properly.

Tyler Fox, with his sharp movements and nervous demeanor, played an impeccable Ichabod Crane. Fox's performance was the highlight of the evening and his interactions with and reactions to the other actors were natural and hilarious.

"The entire performance had some good scary moments."
Performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at the Covey Center for the Arts.

While the entire performance had some good scary moments, the most frightening was the appearance of the "Headless Horseman." The costume for the horseman was great, but the unknown actor inside was able to instill fear into the audience with the large pumpkin he held as his makeshift head.

Douglas Bowen, who attended with his wife for their second anniversary, said the performance was "just the right mix of comedy, suspense and thrill." His wife Callie said it was funnier than she had expected.

Edgar B. Davis K-8 School's "Lights on for the Arts" program staged a festive production of "A Christmas Peter Pan."

More than 100 students participated in the production, which was adapted from J. M. Barrie's story by Kathryn Schultz Miller. Lights on for the Arts is an after-school program that provides Davis School students with opportunities to realize their potential in drama and artistic expression. The Davis School Singers, under the direction of Music Teacher Susan St. Pierre, provided the musical accompaniment to 31 actors and 45 dancers.

"The students' talents shown through."
A Christmas Peter Pan Musical Student Performance of A Christmas Peter Pan
Gorton Center, Lake Forest, IL - Christian Needs Center, LaMars IA

The story is about how the Neverland Pirates, led by the evil Captain Hook and his sidekick Smee, try to hijack Christmas. Aided by the pluck of a couple of elves, the insouciant Tinker Bell and the three Darling children, Peter Pan is able to save the day.

The students' talents shown through thanks to the direction of Davis School Teacher Steven Alves and his army of educators who helped with everything from choreography and sets to stage lighting and back-stage direction.

New Stage Theatre Presents School-Time Matinee
ArtReach's Comedy 'Emperor's New Clothes'
Delta State University (MS): Bologna Performing Arts Center

The Bologna Performing Arts Center will present a School-Time Matinee performance of "The Emperor's New Clothes," as part of the New Stage Theatre Arts-in-Education statewide touring program for elementary school groups and families on April 8 at 9:30 a.m.

Adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes," is packed with action, laughs and magic tricks. Lots of fun is in store when Peter, the mischievous tailor, comes up with his sure-fire get-rich-quick scheme to embarrass the vain emperor and make off with a basket of gold! Peter uses all his wit and magic to convince the court he can make magic clothes. Only those who are very smart can see the clothes, he tells them.

"Action, laughs and magic tricks!"
Emperor's New Clothes in Mississippi
New Stage Theatre Arts-in-Education - ArtReach's Emperor's New Clothes

Following the performance, the acting company and the students will have an open discussion about literature, themes of the play and the experience of acting. A study guide will also be available for teachers to use in their classrooms before and after the performance.

"The Emperor's New Clothes," is directed by Joshua Phillips and performed by New Stage's Professional Acting Company members Jamaar Blanchard, Catherine Mounger and Jasmine Rivera.  New Stage Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre. New Stage Theatre's Arts-in-Education tours are supported in part by Entergy, the Chisolm Foundation and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information, contact Whitney Cummins at 662-846-4844, or visit to reserve seats for your family or school group.

Robin Hood brings Adventure to Adirondack Families!
"Kids can expect to be put right in the middle of the story."

GLENS FALLS - The Post Star

Daria Mathis wasn't sure she should take her son Quinn, 4, and daughter Adeline, 2, to see a play.

Her nanny bought the kids tickets for their April birthdays to the Adirondack Theatre Festival's "Robin Hood" at the Charles R. Wood Theater's PB&J Cafe, which kicked off its month long dinner theater for kids Wednesday afternoon.

The Mathis kids were both familiar with the story of Robin Hood.

"They've seen the Disney movie and we have the books," Mathis said. "She's obsessed."

Mathis' fears were laid to rest as she held Adeline on her lap while the toddler lunched on peanut butter and jelly posted stickers on a piece of paper.

"That's the show right there," Adeline yelled out, pointing to the stage.

"They can expect a fun adventure with Robin Hood."
Robin Hood Robin Hood Play with Audience Participation Robin Hood Comedy and Drama
Adirondack Theatre Festival’s “Robin Hood” at the Charles R. Wood Theater’s PB&J Cafe

Young theatergoers like Quinn and Adeline were encouraged to participate in the very kid-friendly dinner theater, which takes place at noon until July 27. Kids can order a meal from the cast of characters, participate in an art activity, dine during a live theater performance and leave with autographs from the actors.

"They can expect a fun adventure with Robin Hood complete with fights and love stories and comedy," said Director Henry Hanson. "And kids can expect to be put right in the middle of the story."


At one point in the funny love story, the actors pulled kids from the audience to participate in an archery tournament. Robin Hood, played by John Anthime Miller, often encouraged the crowd to cheer him on, shouting "Down with Prince John!"

At one point, Miller asked 8-year-old Clark Seeley to stand up and pretend he was a tree, and then proceeded to "chop" the boy down.

"Fall down now," he whispered to the boy with curly blond hair, eliciting laughter from the audience.

"There's just stuff you can't do while watching Netflix."
Audience Participation, Robin Hood Play Robin Hood Playscript for Kids
Adirondack Theatre Festival’s “Robin Hood” at the Charles R. Wood Theater’s PB&J Cafe

This is the fourth year the Adirondack Theatre Festival has offered a show specifically geared toward children, said Chad Rabinovitz, the producing artistic director.

"So this gives kids the opportunity to learn what it's like to have a live performer in front of you, to experience it as an adult would experience theater," Rabinovitz said.

Most of the entertainment kids experience these days is on a screen.

"There's just stuff you can't do while watching Netflix," Hanson said. "You can't join in the actual archery contest when you're on Netflix. You have to be in a space with the characters. There's something magical about that."

"Robin Hood" is preparing the young audience members to be lifelong theatergoers, and there's a lot of value to be gained by seeing live theater, Rabinovitz said.

"There's also just a different element of appreciation of social skills," he said, "of teaching people how to show respect for someone who is sharing their talents with you, whether it's on stage or in a classroom."

LMS Presents "Mulan" May 9-12
"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all."

Lansing Central School District:  On May 9 to May 12, Lansing Middle School will bring "The Legend of Mulan" to the Lansing Central School District. The play will take place in the LMS Auditorium. "The Legend of Mulan" is from the Ancient Chinese Poem adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller. Over 28 students from Lansing Middle School are taking part in helping "Mulan" bloom to life.

"She just wants to leave the world a better place."
ArtReach's play "The Legend of Mulan" Lansing Middle School Performs Mulan
Lansing Middle School, "The Legend of Mulan"

"This play is about the fearless effort of a young woman to save her father from being drafted into the army," said Audrey Hummel, who is directing the musical. "She inspires us to be the best we can be through her honesty, bravery and tenacity. She knows it doesn't matter if she is a boy or a girl - she just wants to leave the world a better place, a mark of a true hero! Mulan serves as a model, encouraging us to grow up and achieve any occupation we desire - regardless of gender. Come and experience the culture of ancient China with us and you might even be asked to join the cast on stage!"

"Mulan" will take place May 9, 10, and 11 at 6:30 p.m., and May 12 at 12 p.m. Tickets are $7 each and can be purchased at the LMS auditorium door. The show will be directed by Audrey Hummel and Kimberly Williamson, with assistance from Julie MacMartin. The show will feature lighting design by John Phillips, set design by Jase Baese, Emily Franco, and Lee Ianone, choreography by Priscilla Hummel, and graphic design by Heather Hamilton.

'A Thousand Cranes': Young actors tell a sad but hopeful story
Ashville, NC,, Times-News Online

They may not be professionals, but the children and young adults in Flat Rock Playhouse's Studio 52 youth theater program have achieved that rare acting ability to elicit simultaneous and contrasting emotions through onstage storytelling.

Their current production of "A Thousand Cranes" in the Playhouse's downtown Hendersonville theater is both terribly sad and inspiringly hopeful.

There are few sadder events in life than the death of a child. In this true and simple story, the child is 2-year-old Sadako, a Japanese girl who survived the initial blast of the atomic bomb that the United States of America dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killing some 140,000 people.

Although they were at ground zero, she and her family thought they had been spared any radiation sickness, only to be told 10 years later that Sadako was quickly dying of leukemia. And - spoiler alert - she does.

"A worldwide and enduring tribute to an inspiring life."

ArtReach's A Thousand Cranes at Flat Rock Playhouse, Ashville NC

Star of the play this past Saturday night was Asian child actress Jia Hind. Her parents were played by teenagers Andrew Johnson and Aniela Lane. Hind was a natural in this role, ever optimistic with more concern for others than herself, her strong voice and character engulfment endeared her to the audience that was disappointingly sparse. Both Johnson and Lane took their parental roles seriously, displaying convincing sorrow that was masked to lessen the reality of impending death for their daughter.

These were but three of many youthful actors who were called upon by Director Dave Hart to carry the weight of the play through the character development and interaction. The set was starkly bare with a slightly raised stage and a simple Japanese arch and two large panels in the far background.

Throughout the play only the simplest props - a few boxes and makeshift hospital bed - were brought forth to aid the actors. The set's color scheme was mostly gray to symbolize the gray ash that fell upon the city after the bomb and to accentuate the color red that was used to symbolize life and hope. Overall, it was very Zen.

Instead of elaborate sets, lighting and special effects, the actors had to rely on each other and creative delivery to advance the story. With the exception of the spector-like Kabuki dancer and Sadako's cherry-blossom kimono, most of the costumes were simple, plain and drab. It was obvious this play was used as a teaching tool to help the budding thespians in their acting, as well as their understanding of Japanese cultural and modern history.

A great deal of factual information was needed to give the audience enough understanding of World War II to appreciate the historical significance. Many times this information was delivered by the actors by simply standing at apt attention and shouting out dates and statistics. Hart is commended for challenging both his actors and his audience to appreciate a play that required both imagination and acceptance of the Far East mindset.

"A message as gentle as the wings of a paper crane."

ArtReach's A Thousand Cranes at Flat Rock Playhouse, Ashville NC

Although the story's foundation is profoundly sad, its true message is one of hope. As Sadako lay hopelessly dying in a hospital bed, she was reminded of the ancient Japanese legend that if a dying person were to fold 1,000 paper - origami - cranes, the gods would cure the person of her disease. As the story goes, cranes are symbols of long life in Japan, as it was once thought that cranes themselves lived to be 1,000 years old.

Despite Sadako's enduring spirit and origami efforts, she dies, but her spirit lived on - both figuratively and in reality. The final scene of Sadako's spiritual ascent is a tribute to good acting, good directing and traditional Japanese thinking.

In reality, Sadako lives on. Through the efforts of her classmates,  manifested as a statue of her in Hiroshima Peace Park. And every year since, children from around the world make and send paper cranes to the park as their statement to the world that no child should ever have to die because of war. At the base of the statue, it reads: "This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth."

Hart and his cast of young actors took many but thoughtful liberties with this modern classic play to present a message that is as loud as an atomic blast, yet as gentle as the wings of a paper crane.

"A Thousand Cranes" will show again this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-20. Don't miss this opportunity to witness the power of youth as it struggles to survive in a world at war.

DHS One Act Play advances to Bi-District
The Devine News, TX

"Every cast member & one crew member received awards."

Photo:  The cast and crew of DHS One Act Play (back row, left to right): Amada Guardiola, Abbey Paulson,
Ariana Russell, Miguel Palma, Emilie Dudley, Charlize Benavidez, Josephine Taitano, and Mrs. Taitain.
Front row, left to right: Jose Guardiola, Paige Reyna, Jillian Courtade, Paige Williamson, and Gaby Romano.

This year’s production is A Thousand Cranes, by Kathryn Schultz Miller. The play is being produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company. The play is based on the true story of a girl in WWII-era Japan, who falls ill with leukemia ten years after the bombing of Hiroshima.

The cast and crew have attended several clinics in preparation for competition. At the Wimberley Festival last month, our team competed against four other schools for acting awards. Of the four cast members, two received accolades: Senior Jose Guardiola made All-Star Cast, and Senior Ariana Russell received Best Actress of the day.

At the UIL One Act Play District competition this month, every cast member and one crew member received awards: Sophomore Jillian Courtade made All-Star crew, Sophomore Amada Guardiola received an Honorable Mention award, Seniors Jose Guardiola and Abbey Paulson made All-Star Cast, and Ariana Russell was named Best Actress.

Devine High School advanced to the UIL One Act Play Bi-District competition to be held on Friday, March 24 at Lytle High School. Five other schools will perform that day. The first show will begin at noon, with shows running back to back. Show times usually average between 30 and 40 minutes. The event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. Devine High School is scheduled to perform third in the lineup.

The public performance of the play at Devine High School will be scheduled after the completion of the UIL competition cycle.

Review: 'Amelia Earhart: Taking Flight' in Goshen
By James F. Cotter -  Times Herald Record - Goshen NY

GOSHEN - "Amelia Earhart: Taking Flight" stars Rebecca Robbins as the heroic pilot whose flight around the world ended in the disaster of her mysterious disappearance in 1937.

Cornerstone Arts Alliance is hosting a revival of Kathryn Schultz Miller's one-act play, sponsored by Goshen Public Library and Historical Society at the newly renovated Goshen Music Hall. Directed by Ken Tschan, it is an absorbing account of Earhart's personal story as a confident individual who consciously represented herself as an independent woman and a pioneering pilot eager to prove her worth and daring, the first woman to win the Distinguished Flying Cross and worldwide recognition as "Queen of the Skies" and "First Lady of Flight."

As "Lady Lindy," she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, first as passenger in 1928 and then as a solo pilot in 1932, after Charles Lindbergh's famous 1927 flight.

Robbins looks the part with her lean handsome face and slim figure in a leather flight suit and cap. She glides across the stage and seated astride a bench holds on to her controls for dear life.

"An absorbing account of Earhart's personal story."
Amelia Earhart, play for young audiences Playscript about Amelia Earhart
ArtReach's Amelia Earhart - Morehead State University, KY

She embodies the flapper of her era, who in real life designed her own clothes and sold her own line of woman's wear. She set the style of the liberated woman of her time. Robbins gives an impressively authentic performance with her determined gaze and straight-from-the-shoulder delivery.

Earhart married her agent, George Putnam, a publisher and publicist who made sure she got the attention of the press and had her story in print. Drew Nardone portrays Putnam as a larger-than-life male with a booming voice and forceful manner. He proposes six times to Earhart before she accepts and then only on her own conditions, that she remain a risk-taking pilot and free spirit.

Their explosive relationship makes for good drama and increases the tension, since the audience knows that he is right to advise her to take precautions. If she had been more patient with details of radio signals and communications, her tragedy might have been avoided as she flew to Howland Island in the Pacific.

"I recommend it highly."
The Rev - Amelia Earhart Play Amelia Earhart playing at the Rev
ArtReach's Amelia Earhart - The Rev Theatre (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse- Auburn NY

Ben Hudson plays a present-day reporter who is still fascinated by Earhart's disappearance 75 years earlier, and who then finds himself playing various roles, including those of a reporter and radio operator, during her life. He is an agile, involved actor who is a fine foil for Nardone's inside role.

Hudson stands outside as an observer and steps into the action for a moment when necessary. A screen to the side of the stage shows us scenes of the era, from presidential portraits to photos of airplanes and Earhart herself. The production creates a fascinating history lesson that brings the past to life through the person of Earhart.

In the past decade, artistic director Tschan has staged a series of biographical plays, among them of Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein and Daniel Webster. Certainly this portrait of Earhart takes an honored place in that theatrical gallery. I recommend it highly, but be sure to reserve tickets beforehand as seating is limited.

Youngsters delight with production of Pinocchio
UK Kids Perform ArtReach's play about a puppet who becomes a real boy

ILKLEY Playhouse became a puppet-makers workshop last weekend as their Junior Greenroom drama students performed the children’s classic Pinocchio at sell-out performances.

Audiences were delighted with the colourful and charming retelling of the story and the Greenroom tutors Andrew Leggott and Lisa Debney were very proud of all the hard work their  students put had in.

"Audiences were delighted with the charming story."
Pinocchio script for kids to perform
ArtReach's Pinocchio - Ilkley Playhouse, Buckinghamshire, UK

Greenroom drama classes run on Saturday mornings at Ilkley Playhouse.  Thanks to photographer Dawn Morgan for the photo.

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