media articles, reviews, press releases for ArtReach plays
Wizard of Oz' by Middlebury Elementary School
hundred sixty students took part in their first theatrical
experience; one played the Wizard of Oz."
"A heart is not judged
by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others."
- Wizard in 'The Wizard of Oz'
Middlebury, CT - One hundred
sixty students that attend Middlebury Elementary School are clearly
loved a lot by others. With great joy, they presented a lovely
production of 'The Wizard of Oz'
on the stage of Memorial Middle School on Thursday evening with the
help of many parents and staff members of their school. Only one
performance remains on Friday evening at 7pm and admission is one
item for the Middlebury Food Bank.
Director MaryLou Torre, the
interim principal of Middlebury Elementary School, understands the
importance of theatre in our schools. "The project was all about
process. The rehearsals and practices were as much as a part of the
experience as the performance you will see tonight. Fun and freedom
of expression for the students and the directors were key goals along
and Freedom of Expression"
This version of the classic
book by L. Frank Baum is a play adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller. It
included a huge chorus of "vivacious" students in a rainbow
of t-shirts that narrated the story with choral reading from the
bleachers house left. The cast included six different girls in the
role of Dorothy, four different Scarecrows, two Tin Man characters,
two Lions, two Gatekeepers and many, many others. Everyone had their
own wonderful costume; kudos to Amy Raefski on her adorable design
work and to the large costume crew.
Corinna Flanagan and Kathy
Miller served as the Art Director/Set Design team. The panels of the
set were painted by a large group of students (shout out to Nick
Salvucci) that got to wear cool painted t-shirts on opening night.
Michael Kaulins served as AD and Lydia McCarthy did the choreography.
Chris Turecek was the Music Director/Tech Director. Community theatre
actor/dad Ian Diedrich did the prop construction, including the head
of the wizard painted on a white curtain; shout out to Kalman Zold
who played Oz. Michaela Turecek did the pretty impressive make-up for
the actors that needed an unnatural face color. I had a great
reserved seat in the front row, but the sound with microphones on
stands was really very good throughout the gym.
A bunch of young male actors
was the pretty adorable Flying Monkeys with Luke Humphrey as Chimp,
Emma Taglialatella as Scamp and Kyleigh Favale as Rascal. Eva
Guerrera rocked the role of the "they don't call me wicked for
nothing" Witch and melted impressively. Addison Mitchell and
Owen Lattanzio did well with the shared role of the Gatekeepers. Ryan
Dawes and Madison Ferguson were both good Lions and Cole Hughes and
Luke Jackson in full silver were effective Tin Man, I mean Men.
Scarecrows were Matteo DelBuono, Caitlin Flaherty, Peter Skabardonis,
and Kiera Daweese.
don't call me wicked for nothing..."
Glinda in the classic pink
dress and crown was played well by Rachel Anderson, accompanied by
bubbles. Featured Munchkins included Ryan Murray (Joe,) Emily Raefski
(Curly,) and Hunter Diedrich returned to the stage to play Burly.
Leah Wasserstein was Auntie Em and Jack Sedensky was Uncle Henry.
Joey Bernardi barked well in the role of Toto because there was no
stuffed dog in a basket in this play. The poppy scene gave new
meaning to "pulling my leg" in a cute way.
The gaggle of girls in the
blue and white gingham included Emma Kulla, Faith Graziano, Lauren
Anderson, Grace Jackson, Elizabeth Raefski and Aubrey Guiditta. The
most adorable Munchkins specialized in stealing hearts in their
floral hats and technicolor outfits. Best featured ensemble was
billed as "The Forest" and included Brailee Batista, Evan
Deschaine, Lilyana Reed and Shaelyn Walsh as the apple-throwing trees
with lots of attitude.
The curtain closed between the
scenes and if the transitions were a bit long, what the audience saw
when they reopened was worth the wait. The students could never be
heard backstage and that can be hard for the very young. The director
shared during her curtain speech that the young thespians, some as
young as six, had been practicing since January, during which time
their "little school play" grew into a full 55-minute
production. The students all knew their lines and if they hadn't
expected to perform in front of people sitting in the 600 seats, it
did not show.
Thank you to this elementary
school staff for giving most of these young performers their first
theatrical experience in a safe setting. Congratulations on a job
Attraction: 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow' comes to life at Covey
right mix of comedy, suspense and thrill."
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.
Center for the Arts, Daily Herald, Provo UT
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 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.
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.
Cast presents 'Beauty and the Beast'
and the Beast will illuminate you with a lesson and give you light
5th & 6th Perform!
Members of the cast of the
École Deer Meadow School production
and the Beast ham it up for the camera.
May 31, June 1
By Doug Collie
May 20, 2018
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
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.
of Southern Maryland announces cast for 'A Thousand Cranes'
hoping to collect 1,000 cranes from schoolchildren before the
start of the play."
09/24/2014 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.
Community is Invited to donate origami cranes."
Kaylin Beach of Pomfret plays
Sadako, a Japanese child with leukemia in the 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
http://www.csmd.edu/Arts/children/index.html. 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 http://youtu.be/xbd5K-AyeX4. Performances are at 7
p.m. on Oct. 10, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11.
Actors Take on Martin Luther Kings Story
is for Everyone Who Believes in Freedom for All
for all of us... We are the dream."
Review by Jane
Belden for the Trinity Journal (CA)
Trinity Players Summer Youth Theatre Workshop, 7/16/14
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.
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 didnt matter what the ethnic background of the actors
were, they did pull it off royally.
Bridget Rogers says in her
directors notes, "We have come a long way since
segregation, though we still have progress to make. We mustnt
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
-- Jane Belden for the Trinity
presents: Peter Pan
New Ulm, MN -- March 7, 2018
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 Peters 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
Childrens 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,
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.
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,
Each year the show alternates
between two schools, thus the set is pretty minimalistic. That is
also to encourage childrens imaginations, Bergmann said.
So put on some dancing shoes,
sprinkle on some fairy dust and join MLC Childrens Theatre on
their way to Neverland.
Connor Cummiskey can be
emailed at [email protected]
School News, Lihue, Hawaii - 1/10/2018
graders are preparing in earnest for their upcoming show, "The
Legend of Mulan," by Kathryn Schultz Miller and directed by
Peggy Ellenburg. Yesterday, the class had a session on set painting
led by former Island School parent and volunteer, Laurel McGraw.
These photos capture them painting base colors on their backdrop
flats. The finished product will be of a Chinese landscape.
volunteers have been assisting with set building and volunteer
coordination. Anyone wishing to get involved with sets or costumes is
encouraged to contact Peggy Ellenburg: 808-639-7963.
Legend of Mulan" will run the weekend of March 2-4 at the
Island School theatre.
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
I have seen by Treasure Valley children's Theatre are great at
getting the audience involved and keeping them there!
& 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.
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
Jan 26, 2016,
Hinckley News, Hinckley, MN
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.
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.
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
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.
Schultz Miller | Directed by David Hsieh
January 13, 2018 - February 3, 2018
The true and poignant story of
Sadako Sasaki, who was 2 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped
on the small city of Hiroshima, where she lived. The star of her
school's running team, Sadako is lively and athletic ... until the
dizzy spells start. Then she must face the hardest race of her life -
the race against time. A
Thousand Cranes celebrates the courage that makes one young woman
a heroine in Japan. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, completed in 1958,
has a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane. At the base is a
plaque that says: "This is our cry, this is our prayer: peace in
Live Theater at the Redmond
WINTER HAVEN: SHAKESPEARE TO GO!
A Play for
Young Audiences by Kathryn Schultz Miller
An ensemble of teens
performing for their peers at local middle and high schools!
PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: SHAKESPEARE
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
at 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Theatre Winter Haven
TICKETS: $5 General Admission
Co-produced by The George W.
Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Foundation
Please stop by the Box Office
to purchase your tickets!
Presents The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Childrens Theatre Workshop
The Widener Childrens
Theatre Workshop (CTW) performed The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the famed ghost story originally penned
by Washington Irving, on November 3, 4, and 6. Unlike Washington
Irvings or Tim Burtons version of the story, this was
specifically written for a younger audience.
The story still follows the
same basic plot: a middle-aged school teacher named Ichabod Crane
(Brian Harrington) comes to the town of Sleepy Hollow to take a job
as the new school teacher. Ichabod falls for the young Katrina Van
Tassel (Kara Gilbert), a woman whom Brom Bones (Jon Owens) has
already spoken for. Brom wastes no time in telling Ichabod of the
Headless Horseman (Dan Cronin), the ghost who haunts the bridge in
the town. This version deviates the most from the others in the
plays climax when Ichabod meets his demise at the hands of the
Headless Horseman. Unlike other adaptations, CTWs production
contains more comic relief and less scares.
The play, however, was meant
specifically for children and in that regard was a success. The
children in the audience were very receptive, both during and after
the show. "I would ask rhetorical questions and they would
answer, Harrington said of his performance. "Theyre
a lot more receptive. Cronin offered a similar sentiment.
"With adult theater, people are more subdued. What makes it
special for [children] is knowing it played for them. During
the show, many of the children offered more audible cues than simply
laughter or screaming. If there was a plot point, for example, that a
child didnt understand, he would express that aloud.
As a 20-year-old writer,
its difficult to put myself in the mindset of a child and enjoy
it in that manner. However, I agree with the performers that the
children in attendance found it extremely enjoyable. As a college
student, I didnt find the conclusion frightening, but if I were
in grade school, I probably would have. During the shows
confrontation between Ichabod and the Horseman, the audience reacted
the most, both with laughter and screams.
Unlike traditional theater,
this production took full advantage of the building in which it was
being performed. Most theater creates a separation between the
audience and the performers; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow instead
tried to build a gap between the two. During the climax, Ichabod is
chased by the Horseman not just on the stage, but through the isles
and the seats, which allowed the audience to react even more
strongly. To further solidify the union between the performers and
the audience, after the performance the cast took questions from the audience.
To be sure, the response I got
from the cast was that it was equally as fun for them as it was for
the children. "I got a real kick out of making six hundred kids
scream, said a smiling Cronin. Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale, the
director of the play, described it as being an intelligent play made
specifically for kids. If the reactions of the children were any
indication, the play was a success.
Survivor Honored by A Thousand Cranes Cast Members
From Salisbury Post (NC) -
March 8, 2014
said, "the play means more. Art is not just about applause. It
has a history. Theres a lot of good things in it.
JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST
Bayleigh Grace Miller , who plays one of the parts of main character
Sadako in the production of
"It was kind of like a
connection between me and her. Im Sadako, and shes
Piedmont Players Theatres
"A Thousand Cranes
is the story of a young girl growing up in the shadow of Hiroshima.
But to the young cast members, its become much more than
that. Theyve had the opportunity to meet Yoshiko Otey,
who survived the bombing of Hiroshima.
And in between shows for the
countys fourth-graders this week at the Norvell Theatre, they
were folding 1,000 cranes for her.
When Otey was diagnosed with
lymphoma a few years ago, their daughter sent her a box of tiny
cranes. It meant more to Otey than any words her daughter
The cast decided to do the
same to wish her well.
In the play, the girl, Sadako,
becomes ill 10 years after the bombing of Hiroshima. She wanted
to fold 1,000 cranes, based on the legend that doing so would restore
her to health. She only made 644 before her death, but her classmates
finished for her, making an additional 356 cranes. Today, a
statue in her honor can be found in Hiroshima a cry for peace
JON C. LAKEY /
SALISBURY POST: Fleming Otey helps Vivien Rudisell with her costume.
the part of the grandmother in the Norvell Children's Theater production
At 9 a.m., theyd
performed for a house full of students, all sitting in hushed
excitement, eager to see the 30-minute, one-act play.
Their admission ticket? A
There were already hundreds of
colorful cranes decorating the lobby. Director Reid Leonard
said the lobby would be full of cranes by the end of the week.
Theoretically, he said, the cast could give three people 1,000 cranes
each in addition to the 1,000 they were making for Otey.
"Were in the healing business now, Leonard said.
"Its one of the things this cast never expected.
You never know exactly where a
show will go, Leonard noted. "You just launch it and
hope. Each cast member dropped a completed crane into his
or her own small, plastic laundry basket. The Oteys stood nearby,
looking on with gentle smiles.
Pastor Otey has seen the play
more than once. "Its just as strong each time,
Seeing the play for Yoshiko
Otey has been emotional but healing, she said. "Its been
such a long time. Its like waking up from a dream.
Following treatment, Otey is doing well.
Great Review for A Thousand Cranes
Childsplay, Tempe Center for the Arts
By David Appleford, Phoenix AZ
Sadako was just three years
old when the United States dropped the atomic bomb in 1945. Her
home was little more than a mile from where it fell. Years
later, while training for a foot race with her friend Kenji Sadako
feels a pain which causes her to stumble. Doctors diagnose
leukemia, a direct result of the fall of the atomic bomb.
Sadako is still too young to understand why shes become
affected by something that happened several years ago but her mother
tells her "Radiation doesnt always show up straight away.
Thousand Cranes (small cast version)
When Kenji visits the ailing
Sadako by her bedside he offers her a folded crane as a gift and
explains why. Japanese legend has it that if a sick person
makes a thousand paper cranes then the gods will grant her wish of
health again. Inspired by Kenjis story, Sadako attempts
to reach that number.
Told in just under forty-five
minutes with no intermission, director Dwayne Hartfords
production presents its story with grace, poise and theatrical
precision. Holly Windingstands wonderful looking scenic
design is based on Noh, a form of historical Japanese theatre which
originates back as early as the fourteenth century. Here we
have a raised floor backed by the traditional painted design of a
pine tree all under a raised roof. Stage right stands a sound
station where actors produce sound effects and play drums throughout,
highlighting moments of action and movement and underlining the drama.
Thousand Cranes (small cast version)
Its amazing that in such
a short amount of time, some important themes, issues and traditions
are explored in a manner that cant help but inspire young minds
to want to learn more. In addition to the more obvious themes
of war, the atomic bomb and radiation, there are also examples of
respect for traditions, discipline at home, love of family and pin of
eventual loss, not to mention that many, A Thousand Cranes may even
be a childs initial introduction to the fun of origami.
Like everything throughout the
play, the moment when the bomb drops is handled with taste, style
and, in keeping with the traditions of Noh Japanese theatre, even
elegance. Theres a flash of light followed by a boom of
sound. "The thunderbolt Sadakos father
begins. "It took our friends, it took our home. It
took your grandmother.
Today a statue of Sadako
stands in Japans Hiroshima Peace Park. Once a year
theres a holiday called Obon Day. This is where the
country remembers the spirits of ancestors and close family members
who have passed on. Each year, on Obon Day, Japan plays tribute
to the young girl and other children who died from the radiation
effects of the bomb by leaving thousands of paper cranes by the
statue. Childsplays A Thousand cranes shows why.
is Our Cry - This is Our Prayer..."
Following the play, audiences
are treated to both an Origami family activity plus a brief Q&A
session with the cast. This not only gives audiences a chance
to ask questions regarding Sadako but also about theatre in
general. At the performance this reviewer attended a child
asked Michelle a question regarding D. Daniel Hollingsheads eye
catching costume designs, particularly Sadakos kimono.
Michelle mentioned how long it would normally take someone from Japan
to properly attire themselves of such a complicated outfit, then
proceeded to unsnap Hollingheads clever all-in-one design
illustrating how performers can effectively change costumes in an instant.
If excited comments overheard
in the lobby after the show are anything to go by, this single simple
moment of theatrical reveal was just as inspiring to some as the play
itself. Thank about it. How priceless is that?
-- David Appleford, Phoenix AZ
Day of Theatre for Children and Young People
Uniting theatres, organizations and individuals throughout the world
Did you know that
Childrens Theatre has its own worldwide advocacy
origination? Its called ASSITEJ which stands for
International Association of Theatre for Children and Young
People. They sponsor a global event entitled The World Day of
Theatre for Children and young people, an ASSITEJ campaign, promoted
and celebrated through the message Take a Child to the Theatre Today.
"World Day campaign
enables National Centres, individual members, companies, arts
organisations, academics, teachers, artists, practitioners and others
interested in theatre for young audiences to connect with the idea of
World Day and make the case for childrens
entitlement to theatre and the arts. Individuals from across the
world are invited to promote the World Day messages and consider
additional activity large or small. Each year ASSITEJ Centres
around the globe deliver activities ranging from conferences,
performances, workshops and special media events, connected to #takeachildtothetheatre.
Learn more at ASSITEJ website: http://www.assitej-international.org/en/
Christmas Wish from Lewis Carroll
To All Child
Readers of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, 1871
At Christmas-time a few
grave words are not quite out of place, I hope, even at the end of a
book of nonsense - and I want to take this opportunity of thanking
the thousands of children who have read Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland, for the kindly interest they have taken in my little dream-child.
Golfshore Playhouse, FL -
Brandenburg Elementary School, Irving, TX
The thought of the many
English firesides where happy faces have smiled her a welcome, and of
the many English children to whom she has brought an hour of (I
trust) innocent amusement, is one of the brightest and pleasantest
thoughts of my life. I have a host of young friends already, whose
names and faces I know - but I cannot help feeling as if, through
"Alice's Adventures" I had made friends with many other
dear children, whose faces I shall never see.
To all my little friends,
known and unknown, I wish with all my heart, "A Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year". May God bless you, dear children, and
make each Christmas-tide, as it comes round to you, more bright and
beautiful than the last - bright with the presence of that unseen
Friend, who once on earth blessed little children - and beautiful
with memories of a loving life, which has sought and found the truest
kind of happiness, the only kind that is really worth the having, the
happiness of making others happy too!
Your affectionate Friend,
December 25, 1871