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media articles, reviews, press releases for ArtReach plays
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Cranes Review, Festival Performance: "Highly, highly recommended."
By Kathryn Schultz Miller. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019, Australia.
Gemini Collective. Theatre One @ The Parks Theatres. 5-11 March,
Schultz Miller's A
Thousand Cranes by Adelaide's 'cross-art form' company The Gemini
Collective is based on the internationally acclaimed children's novel
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Canadian-American author
in post-WW2 Japan it is loosely based on the true story of Sadako
Sasaki, whose statue holding a golden crane stands in the Hiroshima
Peace Memorial Park in modern-day Japan.
one thousand cranes? Because if you make that many paper cranes the
ancestors, and/or Gods, will grant you a wish. For 12-years-old
Sadako, survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb 6 August 1945 when she
was 2 years old, this wish is for a cure for the terminal leukemia
that is slowly killing her due to the radiation from the atomic bomb.
Sasaki's story is truly marvelous."
Fringe Festival 2019. The Gemini Collective.
Sasaki may represent innocent victims of nuclear warfare, but she
has also come to represent the hopes and dreams of millions of
children throughout the modern world. Every day thousands of paper
crane arrive to be placed on her statue from children around the
world. Sadako Sasaki's 'Thousand Cranes' stands as a symbol, a vital
symbol of Hope.
new musical version of Sadako Sasaki's story is a truly marvelous.
This is mainly due to its poignancy, as well as its elegant,
sophisticated and imaginative realization in this production, as
envisaged by Sarah Williams (Director/Choreographer), Anthony Butler
(co-Director/Designer) and Jennifer Trijo (Musical
Director/Composer). Plus, there is a truly exceptional Adelaide cast
lead by child actors Maddy Flapper (Sadako), Calin Diamond (Kenji),
with Iman Saleh (Father), Jess Goc-Ong (Mother/Obachan), as well as 'on-stage
swing' Arwen Diamond.
exception they all give terrific performances, bringing to life this
deeply moving tale about death and hope. It is without doubt, for me,
the strongest and most consistent and uniformly most powerful
ensemble of community actors that I have recently seen in Adelaide.
sophisticated and imaginative."
Fringe Festival 2019. The Gemini Collective.
praise indeed, but completely deserved. This is primarily due the
various creative and expressive dynamics employed in telling this
tale. This includes acting, singing, dancing, playing instruments,
working as stage-crew, as well as heart-stopping aerial gymnastics by
Knight, Stage Whispers
HOOD Hits The Bullseye
BWW Reviews by
Teresa Rodrick, Jun. 9, 2014
If you have
children and you live in the Treasure Valley, you need to know about
Treasure Valley Children's Theater (TVCT) and Treasure Valley Youth
Theater (TVYT). These two programs were started by Autumn
Kersey and they will keep the children in the valley entertained and entertaining.
Treasure Valley Children's
Theatre, ROBIN HOOD
was ROBIN HOOD (an interactive
play for young audiences by ArtReach's Kathryn Schultz Miller).
Many of the children polled in the audience had not seen or heard
ROBIN HOOD, however, they all enjoyed the performance. The actors are
professional how they present the children's play and a few of them
are professional comedians in Poise (improve helps when you work with
children). This story of ROBIN HOOD is told to us by three
actors: Jordan Peterson, Jared Stull, and Nicole Stull (the Stulls
are players with ComedySportz improve group, as well). We are told of
how King Richard has gone off to war and left Prince John to run the
kingdom. Prince John is the kind of character toward who the
audience "Boos". The prince wants to marry Mad Marian
but she is in love with Robin Hood. The audience is told
exciting tales of how Maid Marian and Robin Hood get together.
I have seen by Treasure Valley children's Theatre are great at
getting the audience involved and keeping them there!
School Play Becomes Epic Musical: The Legend of Mulan
School, Bandung Indonesia
Mary Jane Luyon
Legend of Mulan is based on an ancient Chinese poem that has
been the inspiration for countless films, books and television
productions around the world. The story was selected for our musical
this year because of its inspiring message about the spirit of
adventure and courage as well as its incredibly empowering message to
women and girls
Extravagant Production of Legend
of Mulan - Stamford International School Allegro Altura
Complex Bandung, Indonesia
production took almost one semester of casting, rehearsal and
preparations. More than 60 students auditioned for roles, reflecting
our students' excitement and anticipation of this event.
long and enjoyable journey of preparation, the whole school displayed
their talent, commitment and hard work and learned about the joys of
working together and relying on each other as a group. The whole
school community faced obstacles, solved problems and met challenges together.
parents for their unfailing commitment and support of this very
& Review, Decatur, IL
produced by Decatur's Golden K (Kiwanis) and the Millikin School of
Theatre and Dance, this year's Theatre for Children is "Blue
Horses" by Kathryn Schultz Miller.
a summer evening four young people don't want to go home just yet.
One invents a game of "wish upon a star" which demands that
each friend tell a life story in which the others can take roles and
help the central characters achieve their goals. One rides his
intergalactic bicycle through the asteroid belt to a distant plant to
discover and defend against hostile beings. Another wishes for his
twin brother to help him solve the day-to-day problems of schoolwork.
His wish is granted until he discovers his unique talents and chooses
to be independent again.
one who struggles to be normal in her family of artists find that
vision improves when horses really can be blue. Each person's story
helps him or understand and assist one another in the trials and
tribulations of grow up, gaining self-confidence and making friends.
School Students Perform Sleepy Hollow
Nashville News, TN
Nashville Community High School will present a classic tale of
chills and thrills with its upcoming fall play.
Legend of Sleepy Hollow" opens on Friday, October 19 at 7
p.m. in the NCHS Auditorium with additional performances on
Saturday,, October 20 and Sunday, October 21 at 3 p.m. Admission is $5.
story follows the American gothic tale by Washington Irving, and it
is adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller.
Nashville High School Performs "The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
in 1790 in the countryside around a colonial Dutch settlement,
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" follows the adventures of the
bumbling, awkward schoolteacher Ichabod; the coquettish Katrina; and
Ichabod's rival Brom Bones. There will be six characters who play the
storytellers who help keep the action going throughout the play.
play also includes the famous Headless Horseman, who will arrive
near the end.
Children's Theatre presents 'A
Christmas Peter Pan'
time for a magical, holiday adventure.
26-member Osceola Children's Theatre will present the musical
Christmas Peter Pan" 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, and Saturday,
Nov. 21, at Clarke Community High School's auditorium.
Kathy Kooiker has been working with these four through 10-year-old
children for 10 weeks in a story that tells the tale of Peter Pan
trying to rescue a kidnapped Santa Claus from the wicked Captain Hook
and his band of rowdy pirates.
for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents."
Osceola Children's Theatre - A
Christmas Peter Pan
toys have escaped Santa's workshop, the elves are trying to find
them and the Darling children have followed Tinker Bell and Peter Pan
to Neverland to try and help save Christmas.
theatre: "This would be a great first experience!"
Osceola Children's Theatre - A
Christmas Peter Pan
said the show is appropriate for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents.
you have never brought your child to a live theatre production, this
would be a great first experience," she said. "We keep
things very child-friendly and children love watching other children
on stage. The is even a little audience participation that will allow
you to really feel like a part of the show."
open at 6:30 p.m. and there are no reserved seats, so those to first
arrive have first seating choice. The show lasts approximately one hour.
up with The Reluctant Dragon
at the Peterborough Theatre Guild
production re-imagined as 8-bit video game
Mason as Widget, Samuelle Weatherdon as Mortimer the Dragon, and
Emily Keller as Hairytoes at a dress rehearsal for "The
Reluctant Dragon", the Peterborough Theatre Guild's annual
holiday family play which opens on December 6 (photo: Sam Tweedle / kawarthaNOW)
the past number of years, the Peterborough Theatre Guild has pushed
the envelope in creating intelligent and well-produced family theatre
for their annual December show. However, this year
director Derek Weatherdon is planning to push the envelope even more
when he presents a brand new high-concept version of Kathryn Schultz
Miller's play The Reluctant Dragon, based on the book by Kenneth
Grahame. Featuring a cast of more than a dozen young performers
joined by three adult actors, Derek is reimagining the story in the
form of an 8-bit video game that will appeal to audiences of all ages.
were really lucky that we selected a script that came with editing
rights," Derek says. "That gave us the opportunity to make
all the changes that we wanted to."
didn't rewrite the plot or the dialogue," he adds. "The
story is the same. You've got a kid, a dragon, and a knight. That
doesn't change. But how we present the story is a little more novel.
Our story takes place inside of a video game. This is our big clever hook."
the spirit of video games like The Legend of Zelda and Final
Fantasy, Derek and his company create a magical world of villagers
and shepherds, knights and soothsayers, and a misunderstood
dragon. When video game characters Widget (Katherine
Mason) and Hairytoes (Emily Keller) discover a friendly dragon named
Mortimer (Samuelle Weatherdon), their discovery soon alerts the
town's cruel Prince Scumworth (Issac Maker) who calls upon the fabled
dragon slayer Saint George (Josh Butcher) to come out of retirement
for one last battle.
their new friend in peril, Widget and Hairytoes must find a way to
save Mortimer, who has little desire to fight for her life.
story takes place inside a video
Butcher as Saint George the Dragon Slayer, one of only three adult
actors in the play
off against Samuelle Weatherdon as Mortimer during a dress
rehearsal. (photo: Sam Tweedle / kawarthaNOW)
an added element to the drama, the play takes place inside of a
video game controlled by a character called Gamer Girl, played by
Aimee Gordon. Described by Aimee as being unlike any of the
characters within the play, Gamer Girl was developed as a unique way
to create multiple points of contact between the audience and the actors.
everybody else is in the video game, I'm the one who's playing
it," Aimee explains. "So I watch what's going on and I make
commentary that has nothing to do with the plot. I'm the character
the audience can relate to, because they really can't relate to video
is a departure from the original script, which calls for five
narrators who tell the audience what is happening.
don't like narrators," Derek says. "It takes you out of
the moment of the drama. So what I did was bring all of those
narrators together and give the lines to a character who is playing
explains why she enjoys her role as Gamer Girl.
always played characters that are sweet girls who are nice to
everyone," Aimee says. "I like this role because she's
sassy and she just says what she's thinking."
this is his first year directing the Guild's Christmas family show,
Derek has also directed a number of productions at Queen Elizabeth
Public School where he teaches. In fact, Derek convinced a number of
students he worked with in past productions, as well as adults who
worked on sets for the show, to come work on The Reluctant
Dragon. "One of things I wanted to do in directing this
play was bring some of the talented youngsters I have worked with at
Queen Elizabeth Public School with me to the Guild," Derek says.
"Young talent deserves the chance to shine and grow, and working
on a larger scale like this is the logical next step."
Mason and Emily Keller, who plays the show's two central characters
Widget and Hairytoes, are not only former students of Derek's, but
they've worked together on his previous shows and are real-life best
friends. This makes for a natural chemistry between these two young
performers making their debut on the Theatre Guild stage.
a kid with an unfortunate name," says Emily of her character
Hairytoes. "Basically I meet the dragon and I think he's pretty
awesome. I like the dragon because he plays Scrabble."
dragon isn't so keen on me though," adds Katherine. "She
likes Hairytoes more than me, and I don't like that I'm losing my
friend to the dragon."
the role of Mortimer the dragon is Samuelle Weatherdon, who takes on
different voices as well as engaging in stage fights to perform the role.
become a dragon you have to abandon all sense of humanity," Sam
says with a coy grin. "You just can't be human. You just have to
be a dragon. You walk weird and you talk weird."
is different this year is that adult actors, who were absent in the
past two previous shows, are returning to the stage for this
production. Although greatly outnumbered by the young actors, The
Reluctant Dragon features the talents of local favourites Josh
Butcher, Kelsey Gordon-Powell, and Sylvie Dasne.
you're going to have children playing adults, that's great in an
elementary school," Derek says. "But when you've got access
to adults, let them play the adults. There are also great
opportunities for mentorship there, and you create a more realistic
theatre experience for new actors."
always loved working with a younger cast, and this bunch is one of
the best casts I've ever worked with," says Josh Butcher of his
young co-stars. "They are very focused, very attentive, and very
talented, and lots of fun to work with." "I think we
really lucked out with some of our casting," Derek adds. "We
have a variety of experience, from multi-page resumes to having
never been on stage before, and everyone has done a great job of
buying in to what we are trying to do."
and his company are seeking to create a theatrical experience that's
not considered a family show, but a piece of theatre that families
can enjoy together.
the fact we are the family show at the Guild, and that traditionally
means an all or mostly youth cast, we don't see this as a kid's
show," Derek points out. "It's a show, period. It's for
kids and by kids, but it's a show. We don't want anyone leaving
saying 'That was a great show &ldots; for a bunch of kids'. We want
them saying 'That was a great show.' Full stop."
Aimee and Samuelle agree with Derek. "Usually when people
think of a children's show, they think of people bringing in their
own costumes and not having a set and being done on a school
stage," Aimee says. "This is not like that."
most children's shows, nobody grows and nobody changes,"
Samuelle adds. "This isn't a kid's show. This is just a show
that has kids in it."
what you want from a good play."
Theatre Guild's The
has ups and downs. People grow. People change. That's what you want
from a good play. You don't want a character to do a bunch of stuff
and then nothing changes. You want a group of people who do stuff and
make changes. You want to feel for the characters. You want to
understand their challenges and how they create the solutions to
those problems. You want to see that happen."
with clever dialogue, inside gamer jokes, and a young and vibrant
cast of new faces, The Reluctant Dragon is a smart and highly
original show that both adults and children can enjoy together.
is going to be a fantastic show," Josh says. "It's not
going to be just laughs and funs and video game lulz. This is going
to have everything in it. It's going to be an emotional rollercoaster ride."
favourite holiday tradition for families in the Kawarthas, the
Peterborough Theatre Guild's family show always delivers and this
year is no exception. Derek and his company have created something
pretty fantastic. Tickets for the annual show go fast, so make
sure to purchase your tickets from the box office as soon as
possible. This is a show that you don't want to miss out on.
Pan' A Fun Play for All Ages
Republic, Mitchell, SD; By [email protected]
Neverland, the magical home of Peter Pan, there's no place an Area
Community Theatre audience can watch edgy sword fights with no-good
pirates, a daring rescue of a princess and children flying through
the night sky.
The tale of
Peter Pan and Wendy will take theater-goers back to their youth in
the second children's production this summer. The play was originally
written by J.M. Barrie and has been adapted for a young cast by
Kathryn Schultz Miller.
Pan" starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Pepsi-Cola
Theatre for the performing arts. Tickets are $5 each for general
they have put together is incredible."
Katelyn Biggerstaff, right, who plays Wendy, sews on Peter Pan's
shadow in a rehearsal for the Mitchell Area Community Theatre and
Mitchell Parks and Recreation production of "Peter
Pan" Wednesday. Peter Pan is played by Marissa Moller and
Peter Pan's shadow is played by Sarah Moore. (Photos by Jennifer Jungwirth/Republic)
includes all the classic scenes in the "Peter Pan" story
adults and children heard growing up -- finding Peter Pan's shadow,
the lost boys looking for a mother, Hook's kidnapping of Tiger Lily
and Peter Pan's brave attempt to save her, the mermaids and the
crocodile that took Hook's right hand.
collaboration between the ACT and the Mitchell Parks and Recreation
Department, "Peter Pan" includes a cast of 25 under the
direction of South Dakota State University sophomore Jacob Pecenka,
and Brianna Bernard and Emily Grode, who graduated from Mitchell High
School this past year.
The show is
a five-week program for youth that is meant to teach theater basics.
Students started the first week playing games on stage to get them
accustomed to each other and the theater atmosphere. Then they read
through different parts in the script before casting. Rehearsals
continued for a month. Besides starring in the play, the students
also help design and create the costumes and set.
gives them the full experience of the theater program," Pecenka said.
Pecenka's second year directing the children's theater, and he said
he's found the experience to really open the kids up.
fun to see the kids that performed last year sign up again and to see
the change in them," he said.
though they are young actors and actresses, the kids are able to
develop their characters and make them their own.
essentially just direction," Pecenka said of the directors.
"What they have put together is incredible."
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