Area youth from elementary through high school ages are creating theatre again this summer in a production co-sponsored by Winfield’s Marquee, Inc., and Southwestern College. “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Too” will play in Messenger Recital Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center on the Southwestern College campus June 24-26.
“Schoolhouse Rock Live! Too” is a part of the Southwestern Summer Theatre Festival and is scheduled for Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m., with a 6 p.m., dinner on Saturday. It will also show on Sunday, June 26, at 2 p.m. For reservations, or more information, call the SC Theatre box office at (620) 221-7720 or (620) 229-6171.
For the fifth summer, a team of directors and creative artists, led by Roger and Allyson Moon, have provided the opportunity for south central Kansas. During the last four summers collaborative efforts have produced “Seussical,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and “The Jungle Book.”
“We want to develop the talents of the youth in our area, bring quality theatre to area audiences, and develop the venues in our area so that audiences and performers have theatre spaces that will maximize audience theatre experiences here in south central Kansas,” says Allyson Moon, co-director for the show.
Proceeds from those productions went to the development of the Marquee Performing Arts Center in Winfield, and the Burford Theatre in Arkansas City. This year’s production is to raise money for the new performing arts space in the renovated Richardson Auditorium at Southwestern. Like the former summer productions, “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Too” will be a dinner theatre.
This year’s summer production is co-directed by Moon and Lenita Krejci, SC senior theatre education major. Cody Davis, SC theatre and music education major, is musical director, assisted by Cynthia Compton, who is also the production’s accompanist.
Choreography and set design are by Justin Tinker and Cooper Hart, SC junior theatre majors, who also act in the play with the area youth. The productions stage manager is Stephanie Wilson, an SC senior English major, and publicity director is Lisa Prater, a sophomore theatre major. The six production leaders are all SC Campus Players.
“I love that I’m getting the opportunity to develop vital skills as an educator and to help these great kids create theatre in this community,” says Krejci.
“Schoolhouse Rock Live! Too” is a fast-paced, energetic musical, with colorful characters, that just happens to be educational, according to Moon. It weaves together over 20 of the popular songs from the Saturday morning cartoon. The show includes 30 actors; 28 of them are youth.
“The show will appeal to a large audience, and is really fun for the kids,” said Krejci.
“It is great fun to create theatre in this community,” said Davis, who is dining room manager for the first two productions of the summer. “For years summer theatre created a great lab experience for SC students with Horsefeathers and Applesauce. We feel really blessed that we have this unique learning opportunity now, and hope the audiences will also enjoy it.”