| Oct 16, 2008

Oct 16/08 - Little Theatre Breaks New Ground

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Feature Article - October 16, 2008 Little Theatre breaks new groundBy Jeff Greenr

Just like any other 30-year-old not-for-profit institution, the North Frontenac Little Theatre has seen some ups and downs, but the group has always managed to put on a couple of productions each year, and a musical just about every second year.

The last few years have been good ones as new people have come in to take on major roles. Last spring’s production of The Wizard of Oz was well attended and well received, and featured one of the largest casts in the troupe’s history.

The coming fall and winter shows will break new ground for the Little Theatre.

Later this month, on October 29, 30, and November 2 (Sunday Matinee) the first ever Little Theatre Youth Production, Peter Pan, will be presented at Sharbot Lake High School.

Later in November (27, 28 and 29) a production of “Opening Night” by Norm Foster will go up.

Next spring, the Little Theatre will take on Shakespeare for the first time, presenting “A Midsummer Night's Dream” in late April.

Right now it is Peter Pan that is attracting all the attention.

A cast of 60 young actors, who attend all of the local schools in the area, along with a crew of volunteers and supportive parents, led by Producer Sally Angle, and Director Danielle Harding, have been working diligently together since the beginning of September.

“In this version of the play, which was adapted by Kathryn Shultz-Miller, the language is scaled down and most of the lines are a lot shorter. It is ideal for a children’s production,” said Danielle Harding.

Harding has been bringing theatre to the Sharbot Lake Public School for the past few years, with a spring production, and it hadn’t been her plan to add directing a community theatre production, particularly a youth production, to her busy schedule.

“During the production of the Wizard of Oz last spring there was so much interest from the youth in the play and their families that John Pariselli [the Little Theatre President] wanted to do the first ever youth production, and he asked me to direct. I’ll admit I was reluctant, partly because I was doing a play at my school at the time. But I am enjoying it,” Danielle Harding said.

When auditions were held in September there was a tremendous response, leading to a large cast that has been working in an intensive way to get the production ready for the end of October.

Among the changes that have been made to the play were some revisions to the characters of the “Indians” in the original production. Marcie Webster from the Child Centre wrote the changes and people viewing the play will notice some Algonquin language and traditions in place of the stereotypical 1940s American Indian language and dancing from the original Peter Pan production.

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