Big Five Arts Column
ARIEL Theatrical has announced another exciting and ambitious season. But before rehearsals begin on the new season, the theatrical company is deep in preparation for the final two offerings of 2009. First on the boards is a contemporary and humorous “Doo-Wop Musical” version of
Little Red Riding Hood to be presented at the Wilson Children’s Theatre by a very confident ensemble of younger thespians. The cast of mainly new performers will take the stage tonight, November 20 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, November 21 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm. This beloved tale from the Brothers Grimm is complete with imaginative sets, upbeat music and adorable children in colorful costumes! The enthusiasm and exuberance of these young people in a beginning program will bring a smile to every audience member.
With only a few days of breathing space to clear out the Little Red Riding Hood sets and trappings, ARIEL will begin technical rehearsals for the final show of the 2009 Season, Narnia – A Musical adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A dedicated cast of children and adults from all over Northern Monterey County has been devoting countless hours and boundless energy in making this epic story of conflict, redemption and the triumph of good an experience long to be remembered. Snow falls from the sky, creatures are turned to stone, betrayal endangers an entire world; but light, sacrifice and love in the form of the great lion, Aslan, provide the catalyst for change and a new start. The finale, “To Make the World Right Again,” is a captivating theatrical moment and should not be missed. It is easy to see why the song, with the permission of the composer Thomas Tierney, has been officially adopted as the theme song for ARIEL Theatrical. Performances for this final show of the 2009 Season are December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19 – Fridays at 7:00 pm and Saturdays at 2:00 and 7:00 pm at the Wilson Children’s Theatre in Oldtown Salinas.
The 2010 offerings are sure to thrill audiences and provide opportunities for hundreds of young performers from all over the central coast. Pirates and giants, barnyard animals, creatures from the great outdoors, Winnie-the-Pooh, Miss Nelson, and the Cat in the Hat – These and many more could soon be heard humming the classic Cole Porter anthem, “Another Opening, Another Show” as the theater fills with productions tailored to all levels of experience and performance ability. For the very young (ages 5 and up) ARIEL will offer a Beginning Program featuring the classic tale of The Little Red Hen, which performs February 12 and 13. Additional beginning programs in June and November will feature Jack and the Beanstalk and Chicken Little.
For those Intermediate Performers wishing to improve on beginning skills (ages 6 to high school) and become more comfortable on stage in a learning-focused environment, ARIEL will offer the classic fables of Aesop with a twist in The Fabulous Fable Factory to rehearse in January and perform February 19 through March 6. Additional opportunities for honing ensemble performance skills will be given in the spring with a production of Miss Nelson Has a Field Day – a sequel to the immensely popular Miss Nelson is Missing which was produced in the 2009 Season. Look for Schoolhouse Rock Live! in October of 2010 as the final production for the Intermediate Program.
The 2010 season has something for everyone. This is especially true for the shows being offered in our Accelerated program (ages 7 to high school). First up is a popular adaptation of children’s books by Dr. Seuss – SEUSSICAL. This show will perform at Sherwood Hall to thousands of Elementary and Middle School students who attend as part of their educational program. It is an opportunity for the wonder of theater to enrich each of these students’ lives. Performances for the general public will be given on March 19 and 20. Put this event on your calendar now and make sure your family attends!
The Summer Conservatory which takes place during three intensive weeks in July with performances the first of August will be Peter Pan. See characters fly to Neverland and battle the infamous Captain Hook. Crocodiles, pirates, Indians, and fairies – what more could we want or expect? Participants will refine singing, acting, and dancing skills and complete related craft and educational activities.
The summer will be a busy time at ARIEL. An opportunity for children of all levels and abilities to participate in one week summer camps will take place from June 14 through July 2. Each one week camp with focus on specific aspects of performance and a recital will be given each week on Friday evening.