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Penn Station Players to perform Sunday at Village Fair

Performances will be on the caboose stage

August 12, 2011
By Bryce Berginski

For 19 children, Sunday, Aug. 14 performances during the Village Fair will be a chance to gain experience onstage in front of people.

Under the direction of co-directors Elizabeth Mack, Trista Trottier, and Abigail Jenkins, the children, whose ages range from going into first grade to going into seventh grade, will not be performing a full musical, but selections from two famous, "kid-friendly," as Trottier puts it, musicals. 11 girls will perform a scene and sing three songs from "Annie", while eight boys will sing two songs and perform a scene from "Oliver". The 19 are part of what is called the Penn Station Players. Performances will take place at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the caboose stage.

Due to renovations taking place at the high school, the directors decided to utilize the museum stage, and due in part to the change in venue, decided to do a musical revue titled, "Schoolless Days & Shoeless Days" rather than a full musical. Children involved have learned basic theatre skills and exercises, in addition to staging, choreography, songs and lines.

"Even though it's a smaller-scale production we're doing this year, I feel they are really learning a lot and I'm really excited about all the work they have done," Jenkins said.

The event also happens to be a fundraiser. A free-will offering will be held, and monies from it will go towards funding for children's theater, and the ability to do a full-fledged musical.

For Jenkins, Mack and Trottier, their involvement in children's theater goes further than just direction, as all of them acted in children's theater when they were kids. Jenkins takes up a so-called legacy, as three out of four of her brothers have directed plays in the past. For last year's children's play, Mack was the music director and told Glory Monson she wanted to direct this year. Trottier, whose brightest and happiest memories were of children's theater, wanted to step up and be a co-director after being a stage manager for last year's children's musical.

Fact Box

On Stage at the Village Fair

A full day of music, entertainment, demonstrations, food, and kids' games are planned from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Prairie Village Museum's Village Fair.

On the Bandstand Stage:

11 a.m. - Colleen Jelsing "Anna O."

Noon - Gentle Winds Orchestra swing band

1:30 p.m. - Old-time fiddler Gabe Brien

2:30 p.m. - Colleen Jelsing "Anna O."

3:30 p.m. - Gentle Winds Orchestra swing band

5 p.m. - Old-time fiddler Gabe Brien

On the Caboose Stage:

1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. - The Village Arts' Penn Station Players will perform School-less Days & Shoeless Days," featuring songs from "Oliver" and "Annie"

In case of inclement weather the Bandstand Stage acts will move into the Sandven Building and the Penn Station Players will move into the village church. Tent canopies will shade seating areas for both stages. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

"I really hope the memories we [the directors] helped create will be memories they [the children] cherish, as much as I cherish my memories of children's theater," Trottier said.

If given the opportunity, each would direct again.

 
 

 

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