Student performers don’t disappoint

Editor:

Live theater is alive and well in Clintonville!

This weekend, I attended two great productions by school-age kids: the St. Martin and home-school shows.

Audiences at both musical shows included not only parents and grandparents, but many community supporters of the arts. They were not disappointed. Talented kids were molded by teachers and parents into polished performers. As a dancer, I was particularly impressed with the choreography executed by the large casts.

The St. Martin show included all seventh- and eighth-grade students in speaking parts, and fifth- and sixth-graders in the chorus. All were costumed in World War II-era garb. The home-school show featured a cast of 35 with actors from high school to what appeared to be kindergarten or less.

The St. Martin show was presented in the school’s gym; not an ideal venue, but they made it work. The gym was packed the night I attended. The home-school show used the well-equipped CHS auditiorium and attracted a large crowd as well. It was good to see this great space being put to use when not needed by the high school itself. Both shows hospitably offered refreshment at intermission.

Several attendees asked me if I was there scouting talent, and indeed I was. A number of the current members of our coming Phoenix Players production “Once Upon a Mattress” are graduates of or current participants in school programs. We are pleased to give these talented thespians another chance to hone their acting and musical skills by working with adult actors in community theater.

School plays have come a long way. I urge you to support programs and the community theater productions in the area. New London, Wittenberg and Shawano all offer opportunities to support community theater. And, of course, our new Phoenix Players group performing in the historic 1918 school building would welcome your support of our next show opening June 1.

Mary-Beth Kuester

Phoenix Players