Jan. 4, 2019 – As Slightly Off Broadway’s second annual Scene It production makes it way to the stage, the directors hope future productions take on a life of its own.
In a concept developed by Tanya Duncan, this year’s production will showcase scenes directed by Colonsay Selby, Sarah Oldham and Tara Watson.
Watson said they hope to eventually involve area youth in all aspects of the production.
“With Scene it, our ultimate goal is actually (to) allow kids to direct under the mentorship of an adult director,” she said.
Selby said they hope the production eventually turns completely into a Center Stage Player run event.
This season’s production already involves CSP youth in various aspects of acting and technical positions. This season’s productions include a youth stage manager and community youth also helped design the lighting for Selby’s two productions. Oldham said she plans to use her cast in usher roles as well.
The productions will showcase four separate scenes. Selby said they based all the scenes on children’s literature. She said she based her two scenes on the books “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers and “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton.
Being two vastly different types of scenes, Selby said this gives the young actors opportunities to work on their range.
Oldham’s scene, written by Oldham herself, tells the story of a girl’s experiences after moving to a new school. Because her new classmates do not treat her kindly, she attempts to behave more like the other children in order to fit in better.
Ultimately, with the help of a new friend and her brother, the girl learns how to be herself and not change to be like others. Oldham said this theme reminds her of the SOB community. At times those wanting to take part in the theater experience pushback from friends and family, she said. The SOB community strives to help all feel welcome.
“It’s okay to be who you are,” she said. “It’s okay to like things that are different than your friends.”
They have children as young a kindergartners wanting to get involved, she said. Often, she said the productions children find only have a few lines and tend to be less emotional. Every child production does not have to be about a princess or a cowboy she said. Children can show emotion on stage.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get emotion out of an adult, but you can get it out of a kid,” she said.
Watson adapted her scene from Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” She said she describes it as more of an interpreter theater piece that actually contains the narration often left out of the live stage. Two actors portray the narration for the Once-ler and The Lorax as two other actors portray the characters on stage.
She said the underlying theme of the book involves environmentalism, but she hopes the audience gains another thought from her production.
Because the Once-ler trusts a small child with the protection of the last truffula tree seed, Watson said she hopes the audience experiences the underlying feeling of hope in the next generation.
These youth, she said can be the ones to fix the prior generation’s mistakes, she said.
“They can be the ones that save all the rest of us,” she said.
Scene-It will open Friday, Jan. 11 with a 7:30 p.m. performance. The production will run Jan. 12-13 and Jan. 18-20. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will be at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $6 each. More information can be obtained at Slightly Off Broadway’s website at sobtheatre.org.