The Original Kids Theatre is putting on Junie B. Jones and Miss. Nelson is Missing, in not only play but also musical form. These hard-working kids have worked for months to perfect this classic children’s chapter book.
The director of the play, Sydney Gilchrist, is extremely proud of the kids and she explained why it is important for them to be in a play like this.
“It’s amazing that they get to come together and put on this collaborative production, especially these shows that are so ensemble focused, and really depend on everyone playing their part. And they get to do that as a team and get that sense of team accomplishment, and form these incredible friendships. And then they get to put on this product that they are incredibly proud of and get to display to people… and feel this huge sense of accomplishment.”
Gilchrist says that the Original Kids Theatre wants to make sure that these children are gaining teamwork skills, and also that they can grow and flourish through their love of the arts.
Steph Malloy is the director of the Junie B. Jones musical, and she also said similar things to Sydney in the sense that she has seen these kids become great friends, and they have gained the values of teamwork and hard-work through being on stage.
“When you feel this proud about something, it’s not because you didn’t work hard, we want them to take with them that it’s important to work hard, it’s important to put the effort into something and to see it pay off. And to be able to take a minute to enjoy what all that hard work has brought for them.”
The children in the play were extremely proud of themselves, and many of them said that even though memorizing lines was hard for them at times, it was worth it to be able to be in such a fun and awesome play with their friends.
Scarlett Jewell plays the lead as Junie B. Jones, and she comes from out of town just to be able to be a part of the Original Kids Theatre. She said that memorizing her lines was the hardest part, but she also said there were things that were so fun.
Amy Bakalaar is also in the play, and she plays one of Junie B. Jones’ best friends Grace. She has had a lot of fun being able to put on these shows. She even says she’s hoping to do this in the future with the skills that she’s gained and why it’s been fun.
“I’m more social with other people, and the cast. It makes acting with them and improv a lot easier.”
Junie B. Jones also has another best friend in the play, her name is Lucille and she is played by Juliana Baertsoen. She also would like to pursue acting in high school, and maybe in the future. All 3 of these girls are the leads, and said that it’s been great working together. The best part for Baertsoen has been the experience, she says. And she’s glad that she’s been able to be a part of the show with Original Kids. Her family has come out for majority of her shows. She said there is something that was quite difficult about the play.
“The hardest thing has been trying to act as someone a lot younger than you. Some things are easier to do than others, but the overall mannerism that a 5 year old would have is really different than what a 12 year old would have.”
“I kind of imagine myself as how I was when I was like that. And also I look at people that I know that are that age and try to act a bit like them.”
Tickets are still available for this weekend for both the musical and the play.