Tonight I saw my first Children’s Theatre performance in a very long time. I seem to have forgotten just how magical it is to sit in the audience watching young performers falling in love with the stage every moment they’re on it. As an older performer, I sometimes forget how lucky I am to be able to grow as an artist and inspire others when I sing or act. It often can feel like a chore when it comes to learning lines or having to get up early to go to rehearsal, but something as simple as a child’s play can make me forget all of those things and remind me why I love the theatre.
The production I saw this evening was Rumpelstiltskin at the Spotlight Children’s Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was directed by Ed Dill and produced by Rebecca Ungerman. The cast consisted of thirteen talented young actors from ages 6 to 16. These actors were quite the endearing bunch! There was a charming narrator dressed like a fairy princess with all of the sass and sweetness needed to enchant the crowd. The role of the king was played by a young Noah who transformed the character from a stern ruler and romantic type to a light-hearted goofball. The girl who played Rumpelstiltskin was more daring on that stage than I ever was at 13 years old. This young aspiring actress named Rachel dyed her hair bright orange for the role and had the greatest darn character voice on that stage that I ever heard. She was energetic and full of cunning vivaciousness needed for the role of Rumple. One of the actresses that simply captured my heart was Rory who portrayed the role of Roxanne (wife of the king). She had this natural ability that made it impossible to take your eyes off of her. She was expressive and had the damsel-in-distress thing down pact.
Watching this show took me back in time to my children’s theatre days and I could feel my heart fill with such joy remembering the moments I fell in love with performing. I can still see the smiles on the faces of my mom and dad when they would hug me after each performance. There’s something amazing about watching young children find their passion and I am so glad I was reminded of that tonight.
The audience members around me enjoyed this production immensely. When the female cast members came out on stage at the top of act 2 with sparkly gowns on, the row of girls in front of me gasped in awe of the beautiful costumes and the little boys giggled with glee when the cast came out in the audience to ask us what Rumpelstiltskin’s name was. It was these sweet little moments that made the show so enjoyable. The director did a marvelous job with these kids and I look forward to seeing more productions at the Spotlight.
If you are looking for a fun way to spend the rest of your weekend, I highly recommend going to see this charming little show. It is a great way to support young artists and local theatre. Visit the Spotlight Children’s Theatre Website for more information. Performances are April 16th and 17th at 2pm.