Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



April 13, 2018

riley Mayo as Perchiak ; and Faylecia Urias as hodel

Hang on to your Matzo Balls - AHS Playmakers present the musical classic, 'Fiddler on the Roof' (Jr.). Opening night is Thursday, April 19 through the 21st. Curtain is 7:00 p.m. at the AHS Multi-Purpose Building. Based on the 1964 book by Joseph Stein 'Fiddler' is the tale of a traditional Jewish family struggling to cope with love and life in a rapidly changing world.

Students carrying backpacks munch snackage as they wander in for rehearsal. Cast/crew members sit around lunch tables or take to the stage, making set and costume adjustments. An air of easy-going camaraderie prevails; Enter Director Kristin Youts, "If you have your costume wear it! If you have make-up put it on! We are coming down to the wire here guys! Everybody start your warm-ups!" (Oy Vey!)

Fresh out of Missouri Southern State University Youts, 26, is a first year drama teacher at AHS. "This is the first production since the tragedy," Youts explained, "I feel particularly bad for the seniors, this is like their last chance to have this experience." Youts and AHS administration decided to cancel the Christmas production due to the tragic events of December 7. "Yeah there was just no-way we could go forward with it...As a first year teacher, I could hardly keep myself together and I'm supposed to be there for these kids to lean on." Youts shook her head at the memory, "Now though, this is how we are going move ahead, this is a great opportunity to heal and give back to the community that has given us so much support." Well, perhaps in this time of a 'new normal' Aztec can take comfort in the'Tradition' of a Spring production with some hutzpah.

Benjamin Selph III as Motel; Alice Kitchen as Yussel; Jordan McDaniel as Mordena

The cast/crew includes around 20-25 AHS students some with plenty of stage experience, others are newbies just testing the waters. Also joining the cast are a group of elementary age 'extras'. AHS secured permission from Music Theater International (MTI), NY,NY to perform a shorter student-sized version of the nine time Tony award winning play, hence the 'Jr' added to the title. MTI reportedly is one of the world's largest theatrical licensing agencies and also provides scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources.

Youts believes that in a time of budgetary uncertainty, providing a vibrant 'Arts' program is essential to a well-rounded curriculum for students, "The Arts play a major role in the education of young people...It introduces them to creative ways to problem solve. Kids learn to learn, comprehend and remember information, so being involved in theater can really help in other aspects of the curriculum." Youts pointed out that cast and crew members are diverse in both back-ground and age and the theater experience brought them together where they have formed bonds that can possibly last a lifetime, "Our diversity and friendship is what makes our show so special."

Come on out bring your friends and family and enjoy the show! Tickets are $10 at the door.

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