[ Page 5 ]
media articles, reviews, press releases for ArtReach plays
Prev | 1
| 2 | 3
| 5 | 6
| Next >
no place like home - or RCS, as 'Wizard
of Oz' hits the stage
Daily News, MA, By MARY C. BARCLAY
Royalston Community School Drama Club recently presented an
adaptation of L. Frank Baum's book, "The
Wizard of Oz" in the cafetorium, before a full house. The
ambitious undertaking was well received by the audience at the final
performance last Thursday evening, and involved more than two dozen
students from grades three through six.
dozen students from grades three through six."
Wizard of Oz - Royalston Community School Drama Club, MA
costumes and creative scenery enhanced the outstanding performances
of the young thespians. The hour-long production respected the
original storyline, and managed to artfully weave in both the
familiar characters and many of the happenings found in the book.
story opened with Auntie Em, played by Aubrie Hautanen, and Uncle
Henry, played by Chance Parsons, trying to get Dorothy, played by
Cassidy Cochran and Gabriella Linsky, and Dorothy's little dog Toto,
played by JuliAnne LeRay and Lillie McGivern, into the storm cellar
ahead of the impending tornado.
took off, with Dorothy in hot pursuit. Dorothy was knocked
unconscious by flying debris and when she awoke, it was in an
unfamiliar place, filled with unusual beings like Munchkins Burly,
Curly, and Joe, played by Ryleigh Dunn, Mallory Germain, and Valerie
of the hallmark scenes were acted out, but in a far less frightening
way than the 1939 classic movie that scared (and continues to scare)
many a child. The twister, the house falling on the Wicked Witch,
played by Audrina Vincent, Glinda the Good Witch, played by Ava
Basso, the sparkly ruby red slippers, and the hot air balloon ride
were all incorporated into the production.
performances by the young thespians."
Wizard of Oz - Royalston Community School Drama Club, MA
Dorothy and Toto embarked on their eventful journey to find the
Wizard of Oz, the one being who could help the pair find their way
back to Kansas, they were joined the brainless scarecrow, played by
Max Parsons and Hailey Cummings; the heartless Tinman, played by
Allison Hadmack; and the scared-y cat lion, played by Catarina Chapman.
manner of obstacles were found along the way, including trees named
Woody and Shady, played by Jason LaPointe and Andrew LaPointe, both
of whom pelted the group with apples. They wandered into a field of
intoxicating flowers, which happened to be every color of the rainbow.
full spectrum of the rainbow was comprised of Red, Sarah Linskey;
Orange, Hannah Case; Yellow Leah Lacasse; Green, Evelyn Robinson;
Blue, Maddison Blake; and Purple, Ellie Killay-Rostock. They were
costumed in appropriate colors, sporting flowers on springy antennae,
reminiscent of The Lollipop Kids in the original production.
the challenges, the new-found friends took the advice to "Follow
the Yellow Brick Road," ultimately making it to the Wizard's
gate. They were granted an audience with Wizard, ingeniously depicted
as a floating head (that of sixth grade teacher Brian Snell, no less)
who sends the group on a dangerous mission.
the group attempted to accomplish their mission, they dealt with
flying monkeys Chimp, Scamp, and Rascal, played by Natalie Pina,
Ryder Barilone, and Claire Campbell; the Wicked Witch attempting to
steal the Ruby Red Slippers; and the Scarecrow being set afire.
was dismayed when she finally made it past the Gatekeeper, played by
Aubrielle Brockney, to meet the Wizard of Oz, played by Chance
Parsons, only to discover the Wizard was just an ordinary man. The
wise Wizard gave each of Dorothy's friends a tangible item, but each
item proved they already had within themselves the characteristics
they so badly wanted.
co-directors expressed their sincere appreciation."
Wizard of Oz - Royalston Community School Drama Club, MA
of Oz production
was underwritten by a generous grant from The Royalston Academy, and
presented through an arrangement with ArtReach Children's Theatre
Plays. The script was from Adapted for Young Performers by Kathryn
Schultz Miller, a founding member of ArtReach.
grade teacher Marisa Coviello and school nurse Sheila Hall
co-directed the production, which involved after school practices
twice weekly for five weeks, and practices every day after school the
week of the performance.
co-directors expressed their sincere appreciation and thanks to
Librarian Theresa Quinn for all of her assistance, to Principal Beth
Craven and Secretary Marie Lajoie for their support of the Drama
Club, and to all of the RCS staff, and many parents for their
participation in the production.
whole new world with Aladdin
By The Garden
Island, Puhi, Hawaii
Twenty-five fifth-graders from Island School are presenting Aladdin
this weekend. Todays third and final show is 3 p.m. at the
Island School main hall. Tickets at the door are $5.
Large Cast Aladdin
at Island School, Hawaii
The play, based
on the legendary story of the magic lamp, was written by
childrens playwright, Kathryn Shultz Miller.
the fifth play by Ms. Miller that Ive directed with my
fifth-grade classes, said Peggy Ellenburg. Her scripts
are child-friendly, audience interactive, and have great roles for
The show is
suitable for the entire family.
School, the fifth-grade class comes together every year to produce a
full-length show, open to the public.
happens during the school day, said Ellenburg.
class, parent volunteers guide the children in making sets and props.
Students learn to operate the sound and light boards as well as their
lines, cues and blocking directions. Costumes are constructed by parents.
is run entirely by these enthusiastic 10-year-olds, Ellenburg said.
Cast of Aladdin,
Island School, Puhi, Hawaii
is a PK-12, independent college preparatory school, located behind
Kauai Community College in Puhi.
Frankenstein' is 25th annual children's theater production Friday
casts 22 Great Bend youth
Great Bend Tribune, KS, by
Wednesday afternoon, something
other-worldly occurred at the Great Bend Activity Center. Costumes,
makeup, sets and sound effects were put to use as director Paul
Martin and his assistants Tammy Bell and Pat Doll walked the 22 young
participants in the 25th annual youth summer theater production block
and rehearse scenes for their presentation of "Kid
Frankenstein," by Kathryn Schultz Miller, happening Friday
evening at 7 p.m. at the Great Bend High School Auditorium. The
production is open to the public and admission is free. The doors to
the Auditorium open at 6:30 p.m. for the public.
children, ages 6 - 16, have been practicing for five weeks."
The cast of
Kid Frankenstein, happening at 7 p.m. on Friday at the
Great Bend High School auditorium, includes 22 Great Bend youth ages 6-16.
is free and open to the public. - photo by Veronica Coons
In a nutshell, the premise of
the play is Frankenstein modernized and revisited.
According to the play summary,
Frankie, played by Quintin Buzard, needs a new brain for his new
monster. Irving (Rhys Froetschner), AKA"Igor", and Helga
(Alyvia Mingenback) sneak into the science lab to grab a monkey brain
but it gets mixed up with the brain of little "Fluffy", a
sweet puppy dog. Hilarity ensues as Frankie and his team present a
surprising monster to the Science Fair. Join the cast as the friends
are whisked into a sci-fi fantasy of time-warped, weirdly scary and
lively adventure. The cast of 22 children, ages 6 - 16, has been
practicing for five weeks under the direction of Paul Martin and
assistants Tammy Bell and Pat Doll. Many of the children have
performed in previous productions for the Recreation Commission,
modernized and revisited."
for Kid Frankenstein was held Wednesday afternoon at the
Great Bend Rec Activity Center, Director Paul Martin walks cast
members Quintin Buzard, Rhys Froetschner and Alyvia Mingenback
through blocking out a critical early scene. Mrs.
Newton,a science teacher (Kaitlynn Froetschner), listens as Mrs.
Magillacutty (Madalyn Bonine) shares some surprising information. To
find out what theyre talking about, the public is invited to
the 25th annual childrens theater production sponsored by the
Great Bend Recreation Commission this Friday.
This year's entire cast of
performers are: Madalyn Bonine, Slayde Apley, Adoray Atteberry, Isaac
Avila, Ella Buzard, Quintin Buzard, Keira Cell, Kaitlyn Froetschner,
Rhys Froetschner, Quinton Heath, Carter Kaus, Kloie Kepka, Jeslyn
Klepper, Vivian Klepper, MacKenzie LaViolette, Gavvynn Maddox, Mylee
Maddox, Kaylea McMullen, Braylee Meeks, Alyvia Mingenback, Avalynne
Parr and Brooklyn Reynolds.
For more information on this
production, contact the Recreation Commission office at 793-3755 ext. 110.
imaginations run wild in Millikin children's play
& Review, Decatur, IL
-- Millikin University students enjoy a good childrens program
as much as most children, especially when they get to do the pretending.
School of Theatre and Dance will present two performances of the
childrens play Blue Horses
by Kathryn Schultz Miller at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday,
Nov. 5, in Millikin Universitys Kaeuper Hall in Perkinson Music Center.
story is about four children using their active imaginations and
learning about themselves along the way. Their game Wish Upon a
Star sends them on adventures, with their friends helping them
through their trips. One rides his bike to other planets. Another
dreams his has a twin. Still another simply wants to learn how to
the stories, the friends act out the adventures with help from each
other. Each child discovers self confidence and gains new friends.
play was created to entertain children. However, Millikin students
appreciate a good story too.
a Millikin director, Denise Myers provides the students learning
opportunities through various acting disciplines.
play has lots of action, she said. And our students get
to learn about how to put on a childrens program.
to Myers, Millikin has presented an annual childrens play for
25 years. The shows are produced by Millikin as well as the School of
Theatre and Dance. Other civic groups, such as the Optimist Club,
have co-produced throughout the years. For nearly 10 years, the
Golden K Kiwanis of Decatur has helped support the plays. The
organizations mission is to help children through various
opportunities of volunteering and fundraising. Myers is grateful for
their partnership in creating the childrens plays.
provide money for costumes and sets, Myers said. In
turn, the money goes back into the community.
One Act to Perform at Sub-sections
The Hinckley-Finlayson drama
department will be performing 'A
Thousand Cranes' this Saturday at the sub-section competition in
Pine City. The play is by Kathryn Schultz Miller and is based
on the true story of Sadako Sasaki who survived the atomic bomb on
Hiroshima in WWII.
true story of Sadako Sasaki."
department , 'A Thousand Cranes'
Participating schools include
Hinckley-Finlayson, East Central, Pine City, Rush City and Brraham.
H-F is scheduled to perform at 9 a.m.
Rose Children's Theatre Puts
on a Classic:
Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island
Bjornstad, EugeneScene.org, Eugene, OR
More than 125 years after it
was written, Treasure Island still captures imaginations
with its wild tale of searching for buried treasure, running off to
sea, fighting evil pirates, actually finding the treasure and
finally, returning home to live happily ever after.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote
his adventure novel in the early 1880s, with the express purpose of
entertaining youngsters yearning for excitement. Besides becoming a
classic in book form, the story has been made into movies several
times, as well as adapted as plays, including one that appeared on
Broadway for more than 200 performances in 1915.
This time, though, its
the Rose Childrens Theatres turn to take Treasure
Island to the stage, which they will do for four performances
on Feb. 16-18. Their story is a bit different from the usual. In
their version, young Jim Hawkins has a very bad day, dreams of
becoming a pirate, meets up with Billy Bones and Long John Silver and
has his own pirate-and-treasure adventure.
wild tale of searching for buried treasure."
Island, Rose Childrens Theatre, Eugene, OR
Also unlike Stevensons
story, the Rose Childrens Theatre play also incorporates an
expanded number of colorful characters such as mermaids, dancing
crabs and a bevy of very talkative parrots.
The cast includes 51 actors in
third through tenth grades, directed by Judy Wenger and Rebekah Hope.
The script was adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller of ArtReach
Childrens Theatre Plays.
Featured actors are Jack
Perini as Jim Hawkins, Isaac Lonergan as Long John Silver and Elias
Santin as Ben Gunn, with Enzo Valdez playing Captain Smollett, Clara
Christensen as Squire Trelawney, Henry Davis Piger as Dr. Livesay and
Ellie Williams as the pirate known as Blind Pew and Hugh Brinkley as
Billy Bones, another pirate.
Additional pirates are played
by Natalie Stern, Casey Beasley-Bennett, Maren Nixon, Raiden
Kautzman, Flynn Miller, Sydney Sattler, Addison Sattler and Noah Wagner.
The cast also includes
mermaids Bella Morgan, Vera Lichvarcik, Alana Strand, Peyton
Anderson, Sofia Kovash; crabs Nate Rosenfeld, Kevin McCoy, Ethan
Park, Tristan Riplinger and August Santin; parrots Gage Wagner, Siena
Buchanan, Peter Christensen, Eli Turanski and Greenley Robinson.
Sarah Pearson plays the
mother, and storytellers include Avery Puhn, Owen Colley, Ben Carson,
Ruby McKrola-Dey, Vivien Tritch, Jani von Ammon, Gus Nelson and
Caroline Robinson. Ruby McPherson and Anna Pierce are teachers, and
the inhabitants of Skeleton Island are played by Natasha Dracobly,
Kaitlyn Pintens, Piper Kyle, Kennedy Powell, Meridian Hula, Dora
Boos, Ellie Park, June Robinson and Elena Morris.
Swan Theater presents A THOUSAND CRANES This March
by BWW News
Desk, Detroit, Feb. 6, 2018
Wild Swan Theater will present A
Thousand Cranes as part of its 38th season of bringing high
quality professional theater to young audiences in southeast
Michigan. Wild Swan is very proud to be bringing A Thousand Cranes
back to the stage. This very beautiful and moving play tells the true
story of a young Japanese girl's experience after the bombing of
Hiroshima. The play recounts Sadako's illness from radiation
poisoning and how her friend Kenji teaches her to fold paper cranes
as a way of getting well. Sadako's story became a catalyst for
children from all over Japan to begin to fold paper cranes in her
memory. Now there is a monument to Sadako at the Hiroshima Peace Park
in Japan and people from all over the world bring garlands of cranes
As the play begins, Sadako
(Monica Mingo) is practicing for a race with her best friend Kenji
(Jeremy Salvatori). Without warning, she suddenly falls ill and is
hospitalized. As her parents (Jeff Miller and Elaine Riedel) try to
keep up her spirits, she begins to fold paper cranes, having learned
from Kenji that if she folds a thousand, the spirits will grant her a
wish. As her condition worsens, she is visited in a dream by her
grandmother (Slavka Jelinkova) who takes her to the spirit world.
There she meets and learns the stories of many people who were killed
when the atomic bomb fell. As she joins her grandmother in the spirit
world, Sadako changes her wish from getting well to hoping for peace
in the world.
Wild Swan Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI
The style of the production is
very theatrical with music and masks playing very important roles.
University of Michigan Professor of Music Erik Santos has written the
haunting score for the production, and the music is integrated
completely into the production. An array of unusual percussion
instruments underscores the flute (played by Lisa Warren) and creates
many of the sound effects. All the cast members join the
percussionist to play such instruments as drums, bells, glass bowls,
a rain stick, and a marimba when they are not acting in a particular scene.
Seven austerely beautiful red
and white masks, created by costumer John Gutoskey, help shift the
scene, first to the hospital and then to the world of the spirits.
Actors Don White masks as they create the hospital scenes. The red
masks are worn by actors as they create the world of the spirits.
As is customary in Wild Swan
productions, American Sign Language Interpreters take an active part
in the production. In this production, Marin Goldberg and Erin
Parrish are dressed as the rest of the cast in flowing black Japanese
robes. As well as interpreting all the spoken lines of dialogue, they
also join other cast members as doctors and spirits and dance with
the grandmother and Sadako.
Today there is a monument to
Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and garlands of cranes
are hung there from all over the world. As in past performances of
this play by Wild Swan, attending families are invited to bring paper
cranes to the theater or make them after attending the A Thousand
Cranes. Origami paper and instruction will be provided after each
performance so that those audience members can make their own folded
paper crane with their own message of peace. All the cranes will be
displayed in the theater during the run of the production and will be
sent to the Children's Peace Monument in Japan afterwards. If you
have visited Hiroshima, you might have seen cranes folded by children
from throughout southeast Michigan, transported to the monument after
one of Wild Swan's earlier productions of the play in 1994, 1998, and
2005. This production is recommended for children in grades 3 - 12.
This production is supported
in part by the Ford Motor Company Fund, James A. and Faith Knight
Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan
Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the
National Endowment for the Arts.
Backstage touch tours and
audio-description are available for blind theater patrons. These
services are free but must be reserved in advance by calling (734) 995-0530.
Wild Swan Theater is dedicated
to making professional theater of the highest artistic quality for
young people and families that is accessible, diverse and inclusive,
through affordable ticket prices and innovative outreach programs.
For more information about the company, its current season, touring
programs, drama classes and camps, visit the Wild Swan website at
wildswantheater.org. For interviews, contact Michelle Trame Lanzi at
Emperor caught with no clothes
By Susan Benitez/Appeal-Democrat
Emperor's New Clothes' is a good story, it's a classic,"
said director Joe Moye. The production is the latest to be staged by
the Magic Theater in Yuba City. It opens Saturday and runs through
In this script, written by
Kathryn Schultz Miller, the tailor is a child, Moye said. "He's
a dreamer, and his mom tells him he's got to go get a job or do
something because they're out of money. So he comes up with this plan
to say that he has this magic cloth, and only stupid people can't see
it - everyone else can see it just fine.
"It's a cute show,"
Moye continued. "I am really excited with the group (of actors)
I've got. I only have two full-fledged adults (Michelle Rewerts, who
plays Grandmother, and Samira Fraher, who plays the Empress). The
rest of the cast is all children varying in ages from about 16 down
to about 6.
"The story is, there is
an emperor (played by Noah Enderton) who is very vain, and he's a
clothes horse - he loves to wear fine clothes. He has an army of
tailors who do nothing but make him clothes," Moye said.
"There is a young man
(Peter, played by Aaron Davis) who is trying to make it rich without
working; he comes up with a scheme to convince the emperor that he
can weave magic cloth that's invisible to anybody who is stupid,"
Moye said. "And he figures - rightly so - that no one is going
to want to admit that they are not smart.
"So he manages to con the
emperor into coming out in public in his underwear. And it's going
along fine until somebody is brave enough to say: 'But you're not
wearing anything!'," Moye said.
cast is all children varying in ages from about 16 down to about 6."
The cast includes Jon Socha
as Ivan/Maxim; Molly Enderton as Milo/Isadora; Chloe Newlove as Horse;
Tatum Newlove as Fruit;
Mariana Fraher as Baker/Viktor; Alesander Fraher as Blacksmith; Kylie
Guererro as Narrator;
Heidi Weinrich as Narrator;
Joshua Keiser as Milkman/Vonda; and Breanna Dawson as Igor/Misha.
"Basically, the play is a
parable, I think," Moye said. "It has a couple of different
lessons: Don't believe everything you hear - and also, you can't get
something for nothing, the ethic of hard work.
"In this version, the
lessons are toned down; it's more of just a cute story," he
added. "There are a lot of funny things. And it also has an
audience-participation part, which I love - especially with children:
Children love to be engaged.
"I love getting children
involved in theater. It teaches you that you can get up in front of
people and speak. It's so exciting to see them shine on stage, and
they come off stage so excited because they did it. It is a lot of
work, but it's worth it," Moye said.
"If you come to the show,
you're going to laugh," he said. "It's a good show for
young children because it's only 45 minutes long. We're going to have
a lot of color, and there's a lot of action - it moves along pretty
quickly - and there are things to laugh at, and it's fun.
"If you want your kids to
be interested in theater, bring them so they can see other children
doing theater and realize that this is something they can do. It
empowers them. They realize: He did it; I can do it, too," Moye said.
young girls search for peace in A Thousand Cranes
Ray, The International Examiner, Seattle, Jan
Since its inception 19 years
ago, SecondStory Repertory (SSR) has offered both a mainstage season
and a season of Theater for Young Audiences every year. This season,
Kathryn Schultz Millers play, A
Thousand Cranes, which tells the story of young Hiroshima
resident Sadako Sasakis pursuit of peace following the dropping
of the atomic bomb, will be featured during weekend matinees for
children for four weeks.
Mark Chenovick, executive
director for SSR, feels that A Thousand Cranes is especially
appropriate to the winter season. I first became aware of A
Thousand Cranes while working for the Nebraska Theatre Caravan,
he said. They had mounted a production in their previous season
and everyone who worked on the show was profoundly moved.
The shows director,
David Hsieh, also finds the shows timing notable. Im
certainly familiar with the story of Sadako, having read the
childrens book, and having folded many, many cranes in my
lifetime, Hsieh said. Its funny because I recently
performed in a new play that also had many paper cranes featured in
the plot and referenced Sadakos story, so it has been my winter
of paper cranes in theatre.
Thousand Cranes, SecondStory Repertory, Redmond, WA
Current events also highlight
the storys importance. With growing concerns over North
Koreas atomic bomb threat, its definitely an important
story to tell, Hsieh added, and spreading and keeping
Sadakos wish alive is of utmost importance.
The timing was also perfect
for actor Tomoko Saito, who plays the roles of Grandmother Oba Chan
and the Mother, and who felt compelled to audition. This is a
famous Japanese story, but I had no idea that it was adapted to a
stage play, so I was very curious about the script, Saito said.
I heard so many good things about SecondStory Repertory, and I
always wanted to work with David but never had a chance before, so
this production had everything I wanted in one package.
The artistic team is focusing
on staging the play to maintain the interest of all grade school age
children. Being a childrens show, this adaptation as
written is fairly short, almost too short, director Hsieh said.
One of our challenges has been finding interesting and
culturally significant ways of expanding what the audiences will
experience when they see this production.
Actor Saito relates one
instance of this process from rehearsal. I thought it was funny
that we all got notes from David to use force as
in Star Wars during the course of rehearsals, Saito
said. I learned acting in the U.S. so my initial
characterization for my roles were very modern U.S. I was having
trouble shifting the gear to be a more traditional, restrained
mother, and David advised to not physically show affection but
use the force to love. It was effective, too!
Chenovick hopes that these
choices will welcome a broader audience to SSR. The original
artistic director of SSR had written a number of plays and musicals
based on well-known fairy tales aimed specifically at young
children, he said. When Jen Klos and I began our tenure
at SSR, we kept the program alive but shifted the focus to plays and
musicals based on contemporary childrens literature. This
allowed us to cultivate a larger age range in our audiences and
appeal to an increasingly diverse patron base.
He also strives to make SSR a
place that kids want to return to. SSR is a wonderful venue for
children to experience theater for the first time, he said.
We lay carpet down on the floor so the kids can be as close to
the action as possible, and we maintain a relaxed and supportive
atmosphere in which children can learn the basics of theater
etiquette and parents can gauge their childrens attention spans
for potential theatrical endeavors in their future.
At its heart, this production
of A Thousand Cranes is
intended to present serious issues in a way that sparks compassion.
Although suffering is universal, Chenovick said, so
is the hope for a better tomorrow.
A Thousand Cranes runs from
Jan.13 to Feb. 3 at SecondStory Repertory, 7325 166th Avenue
NE, Suite F250, Redmond.
group to perform fun Christmas musical
Fenton Actors collecting health and hygiene items for 'Hope at Home' program
by more than 50 Intermediate School students."
Tracey Rimarcik finishes getting her son Logan, 9, into his homemade
Abominable Snowman costume before rehearsing the Torrey Hill
Intermediate School play "'Twas
the Night Before Christmas" at Lake Fenton High School
Fenton - 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
that classic story in mind, families and community members will want
to attend a performance of 'Twas
the Night Before Christmas, an original musical play by Kathryn
Schultz Miller presented by Torrey Hill Play Production.
everyone knows the classic story by heart, people might not know
that the mouse's name was Izzy and that he was shut out of his snug
home on Christmas Eve. People might not also know that Christmas was
nearly destroyed by a wayward elf.
Torrey Hill Play Production's performance, guests will be drawn into
Izzy's adventure to the North Pole where he meets Santa's elves,
Rosie the Reindeer and comes face-to-face with the Abominable
Snowman. Izzy and Rosie save the day, helping Santa and his reindeer
deliver the goodies just in time for Christmas morning.
one-hour play will be performed by more than 50 Torrey Hill
Intermediate School students at the Lake Fenton High School
Auditorium. There will also be special appearances in the commons
area by Santa and his frosty friends following the performance.
guest who donates three health and/or hygiene items to Lake Fenton
Theatre's "Hope at Home" health and hygiene drive will
receive a $3 discount.
spooky than scary, 'Sleepy
Hollow' is a delight
Candace Chaney - Contributing Theater Critic - Lexgo - Lexington Herald
after the curtain figuratively dropped at Lexington Children's
Theatre's opening performance of The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a young boy turned to his mother and
said, "It wasn't very scary."
it wasn't very scary, but this Katherine Schultz-Miller stage
adaptation of Washington Irving's famously haunted short story is
still a thriller, though of a more buoyant variety than typical
theatrical Halloween fare. Rather than taking an overtly dark and
gothic path (think of Tim Burton's movie of the same name), director
Vivian Snipes takes a gentler, more sophisticated route that is part
period piece, part comedy - elements that generally compliment but
occasionally eclipse the show's tell-tale spookiness.
of it as Halloween Light.
in 1795, this classic American tale centers on the arrival of
teacher Ichabod Crane (Adam Montague) to the ghost-ridden, quiet
Dutch town of Tarry Town, New York, in the small glen of Sleepy
Hollow. Lean, lanky, and superstitious, Crane falls for the town's
rich farmer's only daughter, Katrina Van Tassel (Kristen Smiley), but
ghostly events soon threaten the success of his courtship. One
particular haunting particularly disturbs Crane: the headless
horseman that haunts the covered bridge.
character changes, creative mastery of versatile stage elements."
Legend of Sleepy Hollow - University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
bulk of the play consists of light, romantic foibles, with Crane and
the big and burly Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt (Brian
Gray) comically attempting to one-up each other in their clumsy
pursuit of the same woman. Here actors Montague and Gray have a
charming rapport and Smiley is sufficiently both pleasant and petty.
A scene in which Crane is giving himself a romantic pep talk in an
imaginary mirror garnered a round of hearty chuckles, namely because
Gray was identically mimicking Crane's every move.
three-person cast also deserves praise for mastering some of LCT's
signature moves - quick and convincing character changes and complex,
creative mastery of versatile stage elements. For instance,
two-dimensional life-size figures carved out of wood represent
townspeople, with whom the actors vibrantly interact, moving them
swiftly around the stage to drive the action forward. Gracefully
swirling big wooden characters around the stage for nearly an hour is
likely much more difficult than the actors make it appear.
the end, we learn the identity of the headless horseman."
Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Coal City High School, Raleigh NC
nice touch is that the flip side of the figurines are painted to
blend in with the stage's wooded, scenic background. When the
audience views this side, it suggests a ghostly figure of a human
outline is lurking in the forest, underscoring the trick of the eyes
that the midnight woods can play on you.
the most satisfying design element of the show is the subtle,
cohesive inclusion of handwritten script within both the scenic and
costume design. In the program notes, Snipes, the director, alludes
to the magic and potency of words, both of which are literally woven
into the fabric of the show. If you look closely, you can see that
Kiersten E. Moore's sylvan set design is formed from the shape of
curly, inky words that blend beautifully with Lindsay Schmeling's
costume design. Knowing the professionalism of LCT, I would guess
that the script is probably drawn from Irving's original copy of the
story, or something with similar period-correct authenticity. Either
way, the faded script draws you inside the literal and figurative
rewards of reading. A few consistent period-appropriate speech
affections on the part of the cast also emphasize how the particulars
of language can shape the tone and rhythm of a story.
it comes to bringing the scary, it would've been nice to see a more
mood-driven lighting design by Tim Hood and Carolyn Voss. The bells
and whistles that accompany the show's climax, the entrance of the
dreaded headless horseman, is saturated in spooky lighting and sound
effects, but there could've been more suspense built in on the front
end of the show.
the end, we learn the true identity of the headless horseman, a
discovery that is as much trick as treat.
Prev | 1
| 2 | 3
| 5 | 6
| Next >