Local Youth Remind Us What It Is To Be A Child
Academy Youth Theatre Presents “How to Eat Like a Child”
The Academy Theatre presents How to Eat Like a Child July 26 and 27 at 7:30pm and July 28 at 2:00pm at 275 Chestnut Street in Meadville. Tickets are $10.50/$8.50 and available at www.theacademytheatre.org or by calling 814-337-8000.
How to Eat Like a Child was first a book by Delia Ephron. In 1981 Dick Van Dyke led a group of children, including Corey Feldman, Billy Jacoby and Georg Olden, in the NBC special, which was adapted for television by Judith Kahan with music by John Forster. Out of this television version was born the musical that has graced many stages since.
This comedy is comprised of more than 20 skits, in musical, drama, and even interview form. In that spirit, here are the answers to some questions about How to Eat Like a Child:
This is an Academy Youth Theatre Production. What does that mean?
It means that this is a show being produced by the Academy Theatre spotlighting our local youth talent. Northwest Pennsylvania is proud of all the talent we have here, and the Academy Theatre is excited to be able to showcase it. Included in the cast of How to Eat Like a Child are Madison Hornstein, Peyton Jackson, McAlester Holt, Duncan Prather, Jacob Perrett, Bailey Pearson, Drew Miller, Erika Brockman, Corrina Del Greco, Kayla Styborski, Kenzie Klie, Karayah Hamilton, Abby Lombardi, Nina Cosdon, Meadow Campbell, Melanie Cosdon, Marissa Basile, Lindsey Sekerski, McKenna Mercier, Raina Concannon, MaKaela Volna, Madison Byham, Gino Barretto, Lennon Campbell and Levi Falvey. It is a wonderful ensemble cast, full of energy and fun!
Who is leading this amazing group?
It is really a team effort. Co-choreographer is Torri Bouslough. Torri is currently a Theatre Major at PSU. She has always loved acting, but her whole career began when she started in the Academy Kids Theatre Camp back in 2000 with Kathy Gorman. “It was two weeks of summer filled with games and learning the basics of acting and putting on skits for our parents at the end of camp. The Academy Kids Theatre Camp helped me to gain confidence and audition for shows with FCCT, MCT, Academy, and even for the Pittsburgh CLO. I am truly grateful for the experiences and training I’ve had here in this wonderful and supportive community because I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the opportunities and inspiring directors and teachers that we have in this town.”
Mitchell King is the Assistant Director. Mitchell got his start in community theater at the age of 11 when he performed as Ralphie in A Christmas Story, and never really stopped. Now a successful Creative Writing senior at Baldwin-Wallace, Mitchell owes a great deal of his social life and personal growth to the experiences he’s had performing in the many various stage productions that had been offered in the Crawford County area when he was younger. It’s his hope that other youth who are interested in the performing arts get to share the experiences he’s been fortunate enough to have over the years.
Musical Director is Sonia Firster. Sonia is pleased to be involved once again with the summer youth production after directing last year’s production of Once on This Island. Currently a substitute and private vocal and piano teacher, Sonia started doing community theater at the age of 14 when she did Babes in Arms at the Barrow Civic Theater in Franklin, PA. While the part was only a chorus role, she was hooked and over the last 12 years has performed, directed or assisted in numerous productions. “It was these productions as a child that really developed my love of music and theater that helped me decide to become a music teacher.”
Directing this remarkable team is Jessica (Surdyk) Sakal. Jessica is proud to be directing here once again, and very proud of this talented group of performers! Having spent most of her life studying and producing theatre, she loves the opportunity to share her roots and passion with the kids and our community. She started performing and working behind the scenes as a young child, and was blessed to have spent her own youth theatre years at the Struthers Library Theatre, in Warren, PA. Having earned her BA in Drama at Edinboro, she has spent many years teaching youth camps/classes, and performing/designing/directing youth and adult shows.
What is an audience member to expect when they see this show?
As Director Jessica puts it; “Do you remember what it’s like to be a kid? Well, we’re here to remind you! Join us for an evening of lessons — each one certain to impart valuable wisdom from a child’s perspective! We’ll remind you how to smuggle your veggies, how to stay home ‘sick’ from school, how to torture your sister (AND YOUR PARENTS), and SO MUCH MORE!!!”
But don’t just take our word for it! Backstage called How to Eat Like a Child “a musical revue for children that can also be enjoyed by the parents…A charming and witty score.” “A winner…should become a classic” raved The Seattle Times. All over the country, this show has met with positive revues. Now it is time for the youth of Crawford County to get a crack at it.
For tickets and more information about How to Eat Like a Child, please call 814-337-8000 or visit www.theacademytheatre.org.
Comedy, drama, family fun, and of course, music; it’s all on stage at The Academy Theatre.