Youth performances are back at Stage 212, but this week will take place outdoors in La Salle’s Rotary Park rather than Manahan Center for the Performing Arts in the same city.
Beginning Thursday, “Stage 212 Youth Showcase” will bring the talents of 33 children, ages 7 to 17, to the public. In addition, four more kids will be production staff members.
La Salle’s Caryn Brown has been involved in Stage 212 children’s theater for several years, and said the cast is divided between holdovers from 2019 and performers new to the stage.
“It definitely has made it more of a challenge,” Brown said about directing the novice actors. At the same time, “getting to see this growth has been phenomenal. There’s a great deal of enthusiasm.”
Brown said songs will be a mix of old and new tunes, with Disney and Broadway numbers part of the repertoire.
“It’s kind of a pretty wide stance,” she said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the show was moved outdoors to ensure the safety of cast members too young to be vaccinated. Rotary Park also allows for more freedom of movement, Brown explained.
“We’re able to spread out the production and not have the kids on top of each other,” she said.
Performance times have been changed. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances now begin at 6 p.m., not 7 p.m. as previously advertised, so performances end during daylight hours. The Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m.
Tickets are general admission for $10 each, and can be purchased by visiting stage212.org. Stage 212 will follow IDPH guidelines for Phase 5 for all performances. Guests are recommended to bring blankets or lawn chairs.
The pandemic of the past two years has affected just about everything, Stage 212 productions included.
One casualty was the 2020 summer theater workshop, a Stage 212 tradition. But kids are back onstage this fall, performing the Youth Showcase at La Salle’s Rotary Park.
The revue will feature a variety of production numbers with singing, dancing and skits.
Featured in the cast are Abi Heerdt, Alora Steil, Ava Weatherford, Brennan Roden, Briza Cervantes, Caydence Luke, Cici Verucchi, Clara Vaske, Dylan Kelley, Dylan Kofoid, Eugenia Craig, Gabrielle Smith, Gage Richey, Guiliana Koehler, Holly Malmassari, Jayden Leone, Joey Brown, Kailey Harper, Lainey Johns and Landon Harty.
Other cast members include Liliana Cabrera, Maleeya Jonas, Mia Walker, Michaela Flashing, Michaela Smith, Myracle Johnson, Romeo Cabrera, Sadie Brzozowski, Sarah Huettemann, Tessa Gerling, Theadora Pappas-Anniballi, Tripp Tomaseski, Victoria Campbell and Vienna Fitzpatrick
Production staff includes director Caryn Brown, producer Jessica Kreiser, assistant director Kevin Alleman, stage manager Ella Johns, choreographer Victoria Duttlinger, cast mentors Andrew Beer and Zoe Piano, sound coordinator Andrew Paden, and stagehand Rosie Brown.