FREE RESOURCES: In the News [ Page 3 ]
News media articles, reviews, press releases for ArtReach plays
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This page (Page #3) has great articles from newspapers and school newsletters.  Check out all these great comments about ArtReach popular titles: The Nutcracker Prince, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Christmas Carol, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, A Thousand Cranes, Sleepy Hollow, We Are The Dream, The Night Before Christmas, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Christmas Peter Pan.

Ovando School features ArtReach's "The Nutcracker Prince"
Seely Swan Pathfinder, MT

OVANDO - Attendees at Ovando School's annual holiday production were treated to a story of caring, perseverance and childhood memories as the 10 students and three community members performed "The Nutcracker Prince" the evening of Dec. 19.

"A story of caring, perseverance and childhood memories."
ArtReach's Play The Nutcracker Prince The Rat King in The Nutcracker Prince
ArtReach's Christmas Play The Nutcracker Prince - Ovando School (MT)

Pictures: Clara (Sawyer Hessler) gazes at her new nutcracker doll she received from her Uncle Drosselmeyer, Storyteller Cindy Francis explains the special bond developing between the two.  While the Rat King (Angela Williams) wasn't expecting a cat in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Shadow (Abby deRonnebeck) challenged him when he made one last attempt to take the Christmas gingerbread house.

After receiving a nutcracker as a gift from her Uncle Drosselmeyer (Kyle deRonnebeck), Clara (Sawyer Hessler) is distraught when her brother Fritz (Silas Hessler) breaks it. Her uncle assures her that everything will be fine in the morning. She said a prayer as she placed him under the Christmas tree for the night.

The dolls beneath the tree come alive as Clara drifts off to sleep with her cat Shadow (Abby deRonnebeck). The dolls hid the treasured gingerbread house and the Nutcracker (Aiden McNally) defended it from the Rat King (Angela Williams) and his three little mice (Alexandria Lapka, Holter Mannix and Mabel Hessler).

"10 students & 3 community members performed Nutcracker Prince."
The Nutcracker play for kids to perform Funny Rat king in Play for kids Nutcracker
ArtReach's Christmas Play The Nutcracker Prince - Ovando School (MT)

Pictures: The Nutcracker (Aiden McNally) and the Toy Soldiers Viktor (Kyle deRonnebeck) and Boris (Silas Hessler) salute and the Sugar Plum Fairy (Matilda Hessler) waves as Clara leaves the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  The Rat King (Angela Williams) is pierced by the sword of the Nutcracker. "Rat Kings don't die, they just fade away," said the Rat King as he slowly fell to the ground. And with one last sniff of the gingerbread, he collapsed.

"The cast sings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
Mouse in Nutcracker Prince play Kids perform in ArtReach's Nutcracker Christmas Play
ArtReach's Christmas Play The Nutcracker Prince - Ovando School (MT)

Pictures: The Rat King's followers Nutzo (Mabel Hessler), Gnarly (Alexandria Lapka) and Rocky (Holter Mannix).  The Nutcracker Prince cast singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Back (L-R): Cindy Francis, Aiden McNally, Emma McNally, Abby deRonnebeck, Kyle deRonnebeck, Angela Williams and Karalee Slaght. Front (L-R): Matilda Hessler, Holter Mannix, Mabel Hessler, Sawyer Hessler (middle), Alexandria Lapka and Silas Hessler.

Once the gingerbread house is safe and the Rat King was laid to rest, or so they thought, Clara is invited by the Nutcracker to join him in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Matilda Hessler). After sharing a wonderful dance together, who should appear but the evil Rat King with her little mice. The heartless Rat King was no match for the Nutcracker, with his heart of gold. The Nutcracker banished the Rat King back to the cellar without even a crumb of the gingerbread house.

Even though the Nutcracker tried to persuade her to stay, Clara insisted that said she must return to her home in Ovando before Christmas morning.  The toys in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy saluted Clara and Shadow as they left. They were grateful for Clara's prayers that made them real.

"Toys were grateful for Clara who made them real."
Mother Ginger in Nutcracker Play for kids Sugar Plum Fairy in play the Nutcracker Prince
ArtReach's Christmas Play The Nutcracker Prince - Ovando School (MT)

Pictures: Mother Ginger (Emma McNally) protects the gingerbread house from the greedy Rat King and his mice while Boris (Silas Hessler) watches attentively.  The Sugar Plum Fairy (Matilda Hessler) awaits the arrival of the Nutcracker and Clara as well as the other toys that have come to life.

As the cast took the stage for the last time, they sang Christmas carols. They closed the production with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and tossed snowballs into the audience.

Without much ado, jingle bells announced the arrival of Santa Claus. Soon he had the children of Ovando in his lap telling him their Christmas wishes.

A SIGHT TO 'SEA' IN THEATRE DEPT: ArtReach's The Little Mermaid
The Advocate, Dillon Erwin Arts + Entertainment, Lifestyle

We've all seen Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at some point in our lives, but I doubt you've ever seen anything quite like MHCC's Performing Arts (OR) children's production of the namesake play, written by Kathryn Schultz Miller. 

Following several special showings for area schoolchildren, Mt. Hood invites a general audience to come see "The Little Mermaid" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in the College Theatre.

Miller's version actually tracks the original story, before Disney adapted it into an animated film. You'll be surprised to know that the little mermaid herself isn't originally named Ariel; the name in this play is Annabelle. There are many other fun characters in this children's play that aren't in the Disney movie version, as well.

"Laughter and clapping filled the theatre."
The Little Mermaid, Musical for Kids
Mount Hood Community College, OR - ArtReach's "The Little Mermaid"

I went to see the production "The Little Mermaid" mid-morning on Nov. 9 along with hundreds of children from various grade schools in the Portland area.  This was one of the ix performances scheduled for school groups.

Excitement filled the room as the show finally began to start. The stage lit up and I was stunned by the magnificent set - colorful strings and cloth hung down from the rafters and were strapped to the ground, giving the illusion of seaweed rising up from the ocean floor. Then out came the actors, dressed in black, using puppets of various sea creatures to make it feel like we all were actually under the sea.

Laughter and the roaring sound of little hands clapping filled the theatre after each scene. The set and costume changes were expertly done and, unknown to the audience, many of the puppet fishes in the sea also portray the humans on land.

After the show, all the children got to say hello to the actors on the way back to their school buses, and I had a chance to speak with Mace Archer, MHCC's Performing Arts director.

Archer explained that he has produced a children's production by the same playwright, Miller, for the six years he has been at MHCC. He chooses the plays for the season a year in advance to secure the rights and to get the word out to any student who might be interested in being a part of the show.

"MHCC has produced an ArtReach children's production for six years."
The Little Mermaid performed with puppets at MHCC The Little Mermaid Musical
Children's Theatre Workshop Production at MHCC, OR

Rehearsals for the play start the first day of Fall Term classes at MHCC in September, unlike normal productions where actors would audition beforehand. To get into the children's show, all anyone must do is sign up for the class: (Children's) Theatre Workshop (TA153D).

Anyone is welcome to be apart of the process of putting together these children's shows. Even those with little-to-no experience will have a fun time doing it, Archer noted.

If you're looking for a high-quality theater production and a fun time for children, "The Little Mermaid" has its only showing for public audiences on Saturday. Tickets are all $2 and the runtime is 40 minutes.

Review: Take a ride on this magic carpet, ArtReach's Aladdin
Paly Voice: Julianna Heron, Author

This year's Palo Alto High School theater program took audiences soaring into a whole new world with a modernized stage version of the classic Disney movie "Aladdin." The audience-grabbing play took place today and Sept. 29 in the Haymarket Theater.

 "The audience flies through the air on a magic carpet."
Storytellers in Aladdin play High School students perform Aladdin
Palo Alto High School performs ArtReach's Aladdin

The story revolves around Omar, played by sophomore Matt O'Reilly, and his evil ambitions to rule a Middle Eastern kingdom. Omar knows the only way to become ruler is to find a magic lamp with a genie to grant him his wish. On his quest, Omar and his helper, Geewiz, played by freshman Zoe Sego, come across Aladdin, played by freshman Peter Maroulis, and trick him into playing along with their malicious games.

Princess Jasmin , portrayed by freshman Molly Kraus, and Aladdin meet, falling instantly in love, but their desire for each other is tested through the obstacles Omar puts them through. The humorous Genie, played by sophomore Adele Bloch, performs a vital role in helping Aladdin as well as entertaining the audience.

The play branches off from the Disney movie as it is filled with a lot of humor great for all ages. The cast uses many different props, such as beautiful silks, colorful chairs and pillows and great costumes to make the play more life-like and enjoyable. The audience flies through the air on a magic carpet, meets fish under sea and witnesses the struggle that Aladdin endures for Jasmin.

"Audience becomes involved in its twists and turns."
Aladdin performance by High School Students Humorous moment in ArtReach's Aladdin
Palo Alto High School performs ArtReach's Aladdin

Director Nancy Sauder as well as the entire cast does a great job bringing the well-loved Disney movie to life in a way that all age groups would enjoy. From walking into the theater to walking out, the ambiance of the entire room brought me back to my childhood. Overall, the play did not copy the familiar plotline of Aladdin, which let the audience become more involved in its twists and turns.

The 45-minute "Aladdin" keeps the audience with the story all the way through. As a teenager it was easy to relate to the modern adaptations the director brought on from the Elvis-like singer to "Dora the Persian Explorer." I have not attended many Paly plays but this one opened me up to the great community in our theater.

Valley Musical Theatre presents ArtReach's ‘A Christmas Carol
Daily Record Ellensburg, WA

Ellensburg's Valley Musical Theatre will present an entertaining twist on Charles Dickens' 1843 classic "A Christmas Carol" this weekend.

The stage adaptation by Kathryn Schultz Miller is designed for a large cast of young performers.  In this version, author Charles Dickens begins to tell his classic "A Christmas Carol" to a group of children. The children, with holiday sounding names like Chestnut, Figgy, Holly, Mistletoe and Peppermint, soon take over and become the storytellers. The familiar tale comes to life from their imaginations.

"The familiar tale comes to life!"
Fun Musical for Kids to Perform!  A Christmas Carol!
A Christmas Carol for Kids - Valley Music Theatre, Ellensburg WA

Cooper Ricard portrays Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold-hearted, "Bah, Humbug" protagonist who receives a Christmas Eve visit from the ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley, played by Haddon Lundquist. Other cast members include Benjamin Johnson and Lydia Blaidell as Bob Cratchit and his wife, Nick Zimney as Fred, Davin Coppin Lanegan as Feggiwig, and Emily Caveness as Tiny Tim Cratchit.

There are four adults in the cast. Jim Denison appears as Charles Dickens. The three ghosts who take Scrooge on a whirlwind journey through Christmas Past, Present and Future are portrayed, respectively, by CharRe Burnum, Josh Ingraham and Dewey Mee.

The production is co-directed by Charre Burnum, Jim Denison and Tor Blaisdell, and produced by Adrienne Zimney.

Cooper Ricard portrays Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold-hearted, "Bah, Humbug" protagonist who receives a Christmas Eve visit from the ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley, played by Haddon Lundquist. Other cast members include Benjamin Johnson and Lydia Blaidell as Bob Cratchit and his wife, Nick Zimney as Fred, Davin Coppin Lanegan as Feggiwig, and Emily Caveness as Tiny Tim Cratchit.

ArtReach's THE LEGEND OF MULAN Comes to Molokai
The Molokai Dispatch, Kaunakakai, HI
By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter

This Friday and Saturday, Molokai residents will be treated to the first ever performance by Hokulani Children's Theatre. The show will be a production of ArtReach's The Legend of Mulan - and a manifestation of the children, parents and volunteers who have worked to make it happen.

Hokulani Children's Theatre of Molokai was established to meet the needs of the community, truly spanning Molokai's schools and communities in its approach. Without grant funding, it is built upon the investment and work of community members.

This communal effort has been "the magic of what we're doing," explained Vicki Boswell, founder of Hokulani Children's Theatre.

"Children, parents & volunteers worked to make it happen."
Cast of Children's Theatre Mulan
Hokulani Children's Theatre, Molokai HI - ArtReach's The Legend of Mulan

It is no small feat to train 22 keiki ranging from 7 to 14 years old, but that is exactly what has been accomplished. Participants in The Legend of Mulan cited newfound attitudes and skills garnered through the program.

"When you put your mind to something and never give up, then you can do it," said Kaceelynn Yasso, age 9, who is the sound director for the play.

"I learned to speak up," said 8-year-old Kai'ani Reyes, one of three actors playing Mulan.  Heaven Kailiponi, age 9, explained that "I have found my artistic self. I have learned to be more vocal."

While theater skills and artistic expression are foundational to Hokulani Children's Theatre's purpose, Boswell explained that community building is really what she seeks to achieve.

"I have found my artistic self."
 Mulan poster Kids and girls love to play Mulan
Hokulani Children's Theatre, Molokai HI - ArtReach's The Legend of Mulan

"I'm trying to build people through this avenue," explained Boswell. To this end, Boswell has an ABC for program goals. A is for artistic expression, B is for building a better self, so you can build a better world, and C is for learning to control your body and mind. These goals work in-conjunction with the process and commitment of theater.

For Boswell, theater allows for a fostering of genuine connection and commitment among participants.  "It's been a very nurturing process to see these kids become connected and care about each other," said Boswell, adding that "I'm very impressed."

For the kids who have dedicated themselves to making this play happen, they likewise have felt the personal benefits of engaging in theater.  "I made a lot of new friends and I have fun," said Liloa Spencer-Vika, age 6, playing the role of Mulan's younger brother.

Sara Laea, age 8 and playing the role of Mulan as well, likewise cited new connections as paramount in her theater experience, explaining that "the best part is that I got to meet new people."

 "You're doing something hard and developing life skills."
Kids performing Mulan The Legend of Mulan Children's Play Mulan
Hokulani Children's Theatre, Molokai HI - ArtReach's The Legend of Mulan

And it's not just keiki who have committed themselves. Parents and volunteers have been essential in getting Hokulani Children's Theatre off the ground.  With help from volunteers like Assistant Director Didi McCarver and intern Wailana Purdy Avelino, Boswell has been able to propel this performance forwards while keeping it free of cost.  In terms of future programs, Boswell explained that it will depend on what community members want, but she is planning on hosting summer programs if interest is demonstrated.

This week, the young performers focus on putting the final touches on their roles in Mulan, a story about a young girl who took her father's place in the war to spare his life which was forbidden in China, and not only brought honor to her family but became one of China's greatest heroes.

As they practice, Boswell reminds them of the real importance of what they're doing.  "That performance does not measure your growth," she said. "Do not think that you're doing this for the performance. You're doing this to learn from doing something very hard and developing life skills because of it."

Molokai community members can catch The Legend of Mulan by the Hokulani Children's Theatre, Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 15, at 4 and 6 p.m., at the Home Pumehana Recreational Hall. All performances are free of charge, and attendees are asked to be seated 20 minutes prior to show times.

All-Kids Cast presents 'Beauty and the Beast'
"Beauty and the Beast will illuminate you with a lesson and give you light and laughter!"
By Doug Collie, Olds Albertan

Grades 5th & 6th Perform!
Beauty and the Beast Play for Kids!
Members of the cast of the École Deer Meadow School production
of Beauty and the Beast ham it up for the camera.

Forty-eight grade 5 and 6 École Deer Meadow School drama club students will be performing Beauty and the Beast as adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller.

The drama students have been preparing for their production since their auditions in September. The production will be hosted at the TransCanada Theatre at Olds High School on May 31 and June 1. Tickets will be sold at Ecole Deer Meadow School office for $10 each. The play begins at 7 p.m. each night, with doors opening at 6:30.

The play is being directed by Dawnna Morgan and Jennifer Rabchak who are assisted by Olds High School students Russel Rabchak and Hailey Larson, who both have experience with acting and directing.

Beauty will be performed by two actresses who will each have a public performance. They are Hannah Turnbull and Sophia Dodd. The Beast will be performed by Mannix Thorburn.

This beloved story follows Beauty as she takes the place of her father at the Beast's castle to pay off his debt for stealing a rose. This unlikely love story involves music, dancing, mystery and comedy.

"Beauty and the Beast will illuminate you with a lesson and give you light and laughter," says Ethan Giesbrecht (Grade 6) who plays Mr. Sparkle.

College of Southern Maryland announces cast for 'A Thousand Cranes'
"We are hoping to collect 1,000 cranes from schoolchildren before the start of the play."
Charles County By College of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland's Children's Theatre Company presents its cast for the production of "A Thousand Cranes," a drama by Kathryn Schultz Miller. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Fine Arts (FA) Center on the La Plata Campus.

CSM's cast includes Kaylin Beach of Pomfret as Sadako, Surasree Das of Olney as Kenji, Cory Bragg of Nanjemoy as Sadako's father, Emily Garcia of Waldorf as Sadako's mother and Alex LaClair of La Plata as puppeteer. Community members Sarah Infante, Ava Jones and Alayna Stewart round out the ensemble.

The play follows the story of Sadako Saski, a 2-year-old girl who lived in Hiroshima, Japan, with her family when the city was bombed during World War II. Ten years following the bombing, Sadako, is hospitalized, and it is discovered that she has "radiation sickness" or leukemia-an effect of the bombing that occurred a decade before. Kenji visits Sadako at the hospital and reminds her of an old legend about the crane. If a sick person folds a thousand origami cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.

"The Community is Invited to donate origami cranes."
Kaylin Beach Plays Sadako Excellent Play for Young People!  A Thousand Cranes!
Kaylin Beach of Pomfret plays Sadako, a Japanese child with leukemia
CSM Children's Theatre production of A Thousand Cranes.

"We are hoping to collect 1,000 cranes from schoolchildren and organizations before the start of the play," said CSM Theater and Dance Coordinator, Associate Professor Keith Hight. "We have received 300 expertly folded cranes from the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. and are expecting students from Robert D. Stethem Educational Center in Pomfret and Hollywood Elementary School to bring cranes when they attend the Oct. 10 matinee. Following the performance, the origami cranes will be donated to Children's National Hospital."  In addition, the Chin Hamaya Culture Center of Waldorf is supplying authentic kimonos for the production.

The community is invited to create and donate folded origami cranes for the production. Instructions on folding the origami cranes can be found online at A collection box for donated cranes is located outside the Box Office of the Fine Arts Center on the La Plata Campus. The Children's National Health System requests that all cranes that will be distributed to their patients must be made of new, clean materials and that those individuals making the cranes must wash their hands prior to doing so.

For a promotional video for the play, visit Performances are at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11.

Review! "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at Lexington Children's Theatre
Lex Fun 4 Kids, Lexington KY

Public Performances and School Matinees.  Recommended for ages 8+.  Recommended for grades 3+.  Performed on the LCT Main Stage.  By Kathryn Schultz Miller from the story by Washington Irving.

Description:  In a drowsy, dreary hollow where time stands still, new schoolmaster Ichabod Cranes is losing his head over the lovely Katrina.  Unfortunately, local brute Brom Bones is vying for her affections as well and making Ichabod’s life terribly difficult. But as night draws in and the stars sink deeper into the sky, Ichabod soon realizes that there may be even worse things in Sleepy Hollow, lurking just over the bridge.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Lexington Children's Theatre Production

Review:  My family and I love Halloween and all the spooky fun that comes along with it.  Getting a chance to enjoy a theatrical performances that’s a little spooky and a lot of fun is perfect for families looking for a great way to have a hauntingly good time this weekend!

The show is based on the famous tale by Washington Irving.  Set back in the late 1700’s there are three actors that do a magnificent job of weaving us through the story of Ichabod Cranes, a new schoolmaster in the town of Sleepy Hollow.  The design is warm, fall colors and eerie fog wafting through the room.  It sets the mood perfectly as we travel back in time to meet our easily frightened friend, Ichabod, played by Mark Andrew Tucker.

The set also assists in creating additional characters with stand up wooden people the actors use throughout the show to speak to and dance with as well as a very cleverly created dog and horse.  Seeing the actors use these props to create additional characters in a fun way to teach children that their imaginations can be used to create and perform their won plays at home even without the help of others.  It’s always amazing to see how three actors can make the show come to life while playing multiple characters.  Watch the costume changes and talk with your children after the show about how the work of the costume artists and the variety of costumes helped define each character.

"A little spooky and a lot of fun, perfect for families."
College Production of Sleepy Hollow Play ArtReach's Ichabod Crane Fun Performance of Sleepy Hollow for Kids
Saginaw Valley State University MI - ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The play opens on a tavern and talk of ghosts and stories told throughout the town of Sleepy Hollow, one of those tales is that of te Headless Horseman.  Our friend Ichabod believes in and is easily frightened by spooks.  Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, played by John Michael McDonald, can see this very quickly upon meeting Cranes.  He delights in scaring Crane any chance he can get, including telling the tale of the Haunted bridge that Crane must cross each day to get to the schoolhouse.  You may get a bit of a fright during the show courtesy of old Brom!

As we are taken inside the tavern and also inside Cranes’ schoolhouse we meet Jan Marie Erickson in some of her may roles.  Each character plays a multitude of people throughout the story.  She does a wonderful job of shifting from a Sleepy Hollow Boy to Katrina, a lady both Brom and Cranes are trying to woo!

Our three actors weave us through as both Cranes and Brom try to win the heart of Katrina.  It’s fun to watch the interaction between the two men as they try to outdo each other.  There are lots of great laughs thanks to the great expressions John Michael McDonald uses throughout the play!  As Brom continues to cause trouble for Cranes the story of the Headless Horseman and the haunted bridge become something he uses to scare Crane.

There is a scene at the bridge where Irving allows the audience to draw their own conclusions about what happens to our friend Ichabod.  This might become a bit scary for younger children (the show is recommended for ages 8 and up) but its very quick and the costumes are beautiful!

Be sure to stop by the front of the house before the show and complete a fun ‘Mad Libs’ wall or fill out a leaf for the response wall.  After the show you can meet the actors and get autographs for you Playbill!

"Actors do a magnificent job of weaving us through the story."
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Play Script College Performance of ArtReach Sleepy Hollow Sleepy Hollow for Kids
Lexington Children's Theatre Production KY - Saginaw Valley State University MI

This is a perfect introduction to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow if your children or even you yourself are unfamiliar with the story.  If you’re looking for additional reading you can grab a copy of Irving’s original book.  There are also movies and kindle versions of the story.

By Betsy, Lex Fun 4 Kids, Owner

Young Actors Take on Martin Luther King’s Story
"This Play is for Everyone Who Believes in Freedom for All”

"It's for all of us... We are the dream."
Martin Luther King Play for Kids! Martin Luther King Script for Schools! Martin Luther King Play for Kids to Perform!

Review by Jane Belden for the Trinity Journal (CA)
Performance by Trinity Players Summer Youth Theatre Workshop
Directed by Bridget Rogers and Brittany Meredith

After only four weeks of education, Trinity Players Summer Youth Theater Workshop pulled off an excellent production at Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center in Weaverville.

We are the Dream opened with the actors singing and walking down the stairs to the stage where paintings of posters of civil rights were hung at the back and risers where the cast were placed casually, yet quietly, unseen until actively participating in the scene.

I had the opportunity to read the script a few months ago and it emotionally moved me, but made me wonder how non-blacks would pull it off. Well, I have to tell you that it didn’t matter what the ethnic background of the actors were, they did pull it off royally.

Bridget Rogers says in her director’s notes, "We have come a long way since segregation, though we still have progress to make. We mustn’t let it make us bitter, or have hate in our hearts. We must always love others. The dream continues to live in the hearts and souls of every person, young or old, male or female, who believes in freedom for all."

'Twas the Night Before Christmas in Ovando
By Andi Bourne, Pathfinder, Seeley Lake MT

OVANDO - 'Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. Except for the mouse named Izzy in the home of Clemet Moore.

Ovando and Sunset School joined together Dec. 21 for their annual play. Sixteen students played 26 different roles in the play 'Twas the Night Before Christmas adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller from Clemet C. Moore's poem.

"Sixteen students played 26 different roles."

Santa played by Isaac Morse comes to the rescue of the broken toys with his elves (L-R):
Markie Weymouth, Claire Kelley, Matilda Hessler and Adelaide Cruz.

The audience joined in singing "Deck the Halls" as Moore's children hung their stocking with care, in hopes that soon St. Nick would be there.

Then the attendees were taken on a journey to the North Pole where the plot of the Abominable Snowman and Louie the Elf tried to undermine Christmas. However, with the help of Rosie the red-nosed reindeer and Izzy the talking mouse, Santa and his reindeer saved the day.

"Santa and his reindeer saved the day."

Siblings Wilma, Clara and Bo (Alison Kilpatrick, Matilda Hessler & Kyle deRonnebeck)
beg their mother to let them keep their pet mouse Izzy (Iris Swanberg).

The shenanigans were well documented in Moore's poem. Clement stayed up all night writing the poem and shared it with his family Christmas morning. Izzy the mouse returned from her adventure and was welcomed back home by the children and their mother.

Following the performance, Santa just happened to be in town and paid a visit to the Ovando School to see the children. He wished them a

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

MLC presents: ‘Peter Pan’
The Journal, New Ulm, MN

NEW ULM — Join the plucky Peter Pan and the Darling children in Neverland as Martin Luther College (MLC) students perform “Peter Pan.”

Staff photo by Connor Cummiskey Tinker Bell (Sara Marquardt, left), Peter Pan (Dan Granberg, middle), and Peter’s Shadow (Noelle Boucher, right) ask the audience to blow air at the stage to make a wind for them to fly to Neverland.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the auditorium at MLC, guests can watch the MLC Children’s Theatre performance for $2 a ticket.

“I have an amazing cast and I appreciate all of the work they have done and I would love for everyone to come see it if they can,” Director Alec Bergmann said.

The show, written by Kathryn Schultz Miller, follows the classic story told in the Disney adaptation.

Peter Pan (Dan Granberg) takes Wendy (Alyssa Tessmer), Michael (Corey Paske) and John (Duke Backhaus) to Neverland so Wendy can mother the Lost Boys.

Meanwhile, Captain Hook (Eric Dorn) single-mindedly pursues vengeance for his hand that Peter fed to the Crocodile (Noelle Boucher).

The show has a few twists and turns that Bergmann said he would like to keep secret for now. Though one major aspect is audience participation.

“We have a large variety of things for the audience to do all throughout the show,” Bergmann said.

From helping Peter find other characters to summoning a wind to help the children fly, the audience is almost as much of the show as the cast.

The breakdown of the fourth wall begins as guests enter, where they will find the actors in character.

Peter Pan art poster
Locally Grown Theatre, Cottage Grove MN

“We decorate the entire hallway for all the children to walk through and have fun with the characters before the show,” Bergmann said.

The evening performances follow hard upon two days of shows for students bused in from around the state, Bergmann said.

The actors perform three times a day Wednesday and again Thursday (not counting the public performance) to over 5,000 kids, Bergmann said.

But that is not all.

“With this show, what is different about it from all other MLC shows is that we travel,” Bergmann said.

Each year the show alternates between two schools, thus the set is pretty minimalistic. That is also to encourage children’s imaginations, Bergmann said.

So put on some dancing shoes, sprinkle on some fairy dust and join MLC Children’s Theatre on their way to Neverland.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at [email protected].

Adirondack Theatre's PB&J Café Presents ArtReach's ALICE IN WONDERLAND
by Broadway World Central New York, BWW News Desk

Producing Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz, announces Adirondack Theatre Festival's PB&J Café: A Dinner Theatre for Kids will present Alice In Wonderland as part of the 2019 line-up. The show, presented for children 12 and under, runs June 25-28, and July 16-20 with both matinee and early evening performances. All performances will be at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Downtown Glens Falls, NY. The leading professional theatre in the Capital Region, ATF is dedicated to new plays and musicals, the season runs June 14 - August 9, 2019 with all performances at the Charles R. Wood Theater.

PB&J Café started as an initiative with Chad Rabinovitz, during his early years at ATF, to bring the magic of theatre to a younger audience. Now in its 5th annual production, PBJ Café consistently performs for sold out audiences. Thousands of children have been able to have their first theatrical experience or continue their theatrical education. The 13 interns, who come from around the country to work at ATF, collaborate to produce, design, and direct this production from the ground up to create a unique theatrical experience. Bridget Dunigan (Alice) and John Anthime Miller (Lewis Carroll) return to ATF after both performing in last year's PBJ Café.

"PBJ Café consistently performs for sold out audiences."
Alice in Wonderland Play for Kids Innovative Script for Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland for Young Audiences - Cast of 2
Treasure Valley Children's Theatre, UT Performs ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland

It's about time kids get to have the same amount of fun in a theater that adults do! A revolutionary idea, the PB&J Café will give young theatre-goers the opportunity to order a meal from the cast of characters, participate in a pre-show art activity, dine during the live theatre performance, and come home with autographs from their favorite actors.

The Show: In this theatrical version of the classic adventure, Alice meets a hurried White Rabbit, swims in a sea of her tears, confronts a Caterpillar, and questions a grinning Cheshire cat, all in an effort to find out what kind of place she stumbled into. Alice In Wonderland was written by Lewis Carroll and adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller. The production will be directed by ATF artistic intern Henery Wyand.

ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland for Summer Camps
Large Cast Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland poster
Idaho Rep Summer Drama Camp, Moscow ID

Henery Wyand is a Director, Writer and Performance Artist from Beacon, NY. Henery is currently a senior at Vassar College pursuing a BA in Drama. He is an alumnus of the Powerhouse Theater Training Program as a Directing Apprentice and the National Theater Institute Advanced Directing at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Some past Directing credits include Spring Awakening, Untitled Project of Color, White is Not the Default by Alexandria Smalls, Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party (Vassar), Not... Enough Oxygen (Powerhouse), The Boundaries that Divide by Cherokee Rose Collier and Baby Carrot by Haruka Ueda (National Theater Institute). Upcoming productions include the new play h.b. floating palace by Rahul Makwana at Vassar in Spring 2020.

About Adirondack Theatre Festival Founded in 1994, ATF is a non-profit, professional theatre. Each summer ATF produces a season of theatre for an audience of both locals and tourists (9,000+) using professional artists from New York City and across the country. Last summer yielded a record-breaking season of sold-out performances. ATF operates under a Small Professional Theatre Agreement with Actors' Equity Association. ATF is the only professional summer theatre in the Capital District, Saratoga and Adirondack regions of upstate New York solely committed to producing new and contemporary works of theatre. Its 25th season is comprised entirely of new works.

Fifth Graders Perform ArtReach's Christmas Musical 'A Christmas Peter Pan'
Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

Arrgh, it’s an unusual premise for a holiday play.

"Peter Pan & Santa Claus are kidnapped by Captain Hook."
 Pirates try to kidnap in Christmas Musical Tinker Bell and Wendy, Peter Pan musical
West Parish Elem School perform's ArtReach's "A Christmas Peter Pan"

Staff photo Peter Pan, right, played by Tyler Weed, faces off in a sword fight with Captain Hook, played by Ian Buchanen, in a performance Tuesday of “A Christmas Peter Pan” by West Parish Elementary School fifth graders at the O’Maley Middle School auditorium.

The fifth-graders at West Parish Elementary School are producing “A Christmas Peter Pan” on the O’Maley Middle School auditorium stage. 

The musical takes a takes a cue from the classic J.M. Barrie story, “Peter Pan.” In this holiday tale, Peter Pan and Santa Claus are kidnapped by Captain Hook and his band of pirates, so Tinker Bell summons Wendy, Michael and John to join her on a rescue mission to the North Pole.

"The musical takes a takes a cue from the classic J.M. Barrie story."
Kids perform Christmas Musical Fifth Grader performs Peter Pan
West Parish Elem School perform's ArtReach's "A Christmas Peter Pan"

The play was performed Tuesday for the entire West Parish student body, and will be presented Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 in the O’Maley auditorium. Admission is $5.

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