Texas Shakespeare Festival: Play designed for youngest fans

Published on Thursday, 17 July 2014 22:56 - Written by Chelsea Katz MCT Direct News Service

Texas Shakespeare Festival takes place in Van Cliburn Auditorium at Kilgore College. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances at 2 p.m. are indicated with an asterisk. Tickets can be ordered by calling 903-983-8601 or online at TexasShakespeare.com.

“Cymbeline”

July 18, 20, 24*, 26*

“Noises Off”

July 19*, 24 , 26

“Macbeth”

July 19, 25*, 27*

My Fair Lady

July 18*, 20*, 25, 27

“The Lost Prince”

all performances are at 10 a.m. July 18-19, 22-26

 

By CHELSEA KATZ

MCT Direct News Service

 

While some children may enjoy the regular plays offered by Texas Shakespeare Festival, one play is designed specifically for the festival’s youngest fans.

TSF Festival Associate Jason Richards wrote “The Lost Prince,” which takes place in a fairy world, with children in mind.

Richards, ArtsView Children’s Theatre artistic director, said it is exciting and humbling to see a world he created in his mind become a reality on stage.

When it comes to performing for kids, actor Thom Miller said the experience allows them to be a little more creative and imaginative.

“There’s something about a child’s mind that they’re willing to play with you,” he said. “You can pick up a rock and be like, ‘This is a helicopter,’ and they’re like, ‘Cool! It’s a helicopter!’”

Miller added that children will let the actors know if a moment or a line is working.

“The best moment is when something’s happening, and you’re building suspense and the child’s like, ‘Look behind you!’” Miller said.

Richards added that he enjoys it when children talk back to the actors because that means they are getting emotionally involved with the story.

Richards added that the festival’s children’s play often is the first theater experience for young audience members.

“Whatever we do, as old and used as it might be for an adult, is brand new to these kids and it’s blowing their minds for the very first time,” he said. This allows for more freedom for Richards and the actors.

TSF Artistic Associate Meaghan Sullivan said she becomes one of those people screaming to help the actors on stage when she watches a show with an audience full of children.

As one of the acting interns in the show, Gracie Winchester, who plays Bean Sprout, said she tries to harness her inner child when doing shows for children.

“In general, I like to study kids because they don’t care, you know,” she said. “They haven’t had all these nerves wrack up and sometimes that’s how I have to look at the day of rehearsal.”

Chelsea Katz is a reporter for the Kilgore News Herald.