Youth Theater Season at Beck Center

Illustrations by Pat Miller

Founded in 1948, Beck Center Youth Theater is considered to be one of the longest continuously running youth theater programs in the country. This year marks the 67th anniversary of the program, and the 2015–2016 season is filled with just the right balance of titles that allow teaching opportunities and draw community interest. Ranging from family favorites to a twisted take on "Macbeth" for teens, this upcoming season is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

With such a spectacular season in store, it is important to note that students must be enrolled at Beck Center in the semester in which the show goes live. By enrolling in any art form, children and teens may participate in the productions. For the fall semester, Beck Center Theater Education is offering theater packages on Saturdays that include two classes in various performance styles. Private Theater Lessons are also a wonderful opportunity for students to prepare for auditions throughout the year. Students do not have to be enrolled at the time of auditions.

The season opens with "A Little Princess", which runs November 5–8, on the Mackey Main Stage. In this story, from the author of "The Secret Garden", Sara Crewe begins her adventures in Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies. When her fortune changes from rich girl to poor orphan, she is challenged by a cruel headmistress, hard labor, and terrible living conditions. Despite all of this, Sara maintains her generosity and imagination, ultimately reversing her destiny in this timeless tale. Auditions are open to Beck Center students ages 6 to 19 and are scheduled for Saturday, September 19 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Callbacks are Monday, September 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Just in time for the holidays, "Happily Forever After" will run December 11–20 in the Studio Theater. Directed by Rachel Spence, this comedy explores what happens when happily-ever-after isn’t quite what our favorite fairy tale characters imagined. Still, Princess Wallflower is hoping for one of her own. Kidnapped by the wickedest person in the kingdom, the princess pleads for a handsome prince to rescue her. Will Princess Wallflower’s dreams come true? Stay tuned to see who saves the day! Auditions are open to Beck Center students ages 6 to 12, and are scheduled for Saturday, October 24 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 25 from 1 p.m. to 4pm. Callbacks are Monday, October 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Beck Center Teen Theater will present "Bright Ideas" by Cleveland’s most prolific playwright Eric Coble from February 26 to March 6 in the Studio Theater. Directed by Associate Director of Theater Education Jonathan Kronenberger, this play is perfect for high school classes. Genevra and Joshua Bradley have a problem: their three year old son is on the waiting list for Bright Ideas Early Childhood Development Academy. Since this is the best preschool in town, the Bradley’s are desperate to get their son enrolled. With a plan devised, they become one fatal dinner party away from entering Bright Ideas. You may never look at preschool – or pesto – the same way again!Auditions for Bright Ideas are open to Beck Center students ages 12 to 19, and are scheduled for Saturday, November 21 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 22 from 1 p.m. to 5  p.m. Callbacks are Monday, November 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The season will close with "big THE MUSICAL", running May 13–22 on the Mackey Main Stage. This classic 1987 film is reinvented with theater magic when Josh Baskin goes from kid to grown up over night! Feeling stuck in his awkward youth, Josh wishes for adulthood. To his shock, his wish is granted! This dream come true is soon overshadowed by the pressures of adult responsibility. Follow Josh as he realizes not to grow up so fast, and to embrace all that life has to offer! Directed by Russel Stich with musical direction of Matt Dolan, auditions are open to Beck Center students ages 6 to 19 and are scheduled for Saturday, February 13 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 14 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.. Callbacks are Monday, February 15 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for Adults/Seniors and $10 for Children (18 and under) and may be purchased online at beckcenter.org or by calling 216-521-2540, x10.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is Graphic Design & Marketing Coordinator at the Beck Center.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 3:12 PM, 09.01.2015