Young adult theater group presents ‘Anything Goes’Written by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Speelman wanted to create an outlet for young adults interested in theater.
“A lot of young adults’ shows end at 19 [years old],” Speelman said. “[They] don’t have that confidence level to do adult shows … this gives them an opportunity to grow.”
That is why the Village Players Board of Directors (which included Speelman) proposed a young adult theater group to The Village Players earlier this year.
“The Village couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough,” said Christopher Jagodzinski, The Village Players Theatre vice president of public relations and development. “As a community theatre we were happy to offer a program where young adults could gain experience in auditioning, acting and the technical aspects of running a full production.”
The Upton Players, a group for those ages 15-21, will have their first production, Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” on July 11, 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and July 14 at 2 p.m.
Speelman will direct the production. She chose it with her music director.
“We were looking for a show that was an ensemble-driven show,” Speelman said. “We like to work on musicals that don’t necessarily have a lot of leads. Especially with the young adults, it’s nice to have a sense of community and quality.”
Speelman also wanted to choose a show with name recognition for the first production by The Upton Players.
“It’s a fun script; it has a lot of different characters,” Speelman said. “It was a challenging script, but that’s why we chose to do it.”
The script gives a lot of opportunities for singing and dancing. Speelman said the cast of “Anything Goes” is the most talented she’s ever worked with.
“It was a very difficult time casting this show. The talent level made it very difficult to cast; it was that good,” Speelman said.
She said she wishes she had been more into theater when she was this age. Because of that, she is creating experiences for local young adults.
“I did theater in high school, but I didn’t do it for a long time,” Speelman said. She returned to acting in 2007.
Speelman has worked with young adult actors for four years, this being the first with The Village Players.
“It’s fun to watch them grow,” Speelman said. “Just watching that growth when they come back from year to year … that’s what’s fun about it, to watch how they develop over time.”
Speelman said she sees promising futures in the cast members.
“Even if it’s not a career in theater, per se, they all have promising futures,” Speelman said. “They all have that work ethic in them. They choose to do this; this is not something they have to do. I think young adults get this rap that they don’t want to do anything, but that’s not true … They’re willing to go above and beyond. To me, being willing to do that prepares them for the future.”
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit thevillageplayers.org. All tickets are $10.