2 youth productions set for Nov. 22 and 23

CNY Arts Center announces the debut of two youth productions onstage Nov. 22 and 23 with Drama Club and Kids Onstage.

Both groups have been meeting weekly since mid-September and will present to parents, family and friends in separate performances. Both presentations are Pay-What-You-Can performances open to the public in lieu of tickets and take place at 357 State St. Methodist Church in Fulton. Please use the Park Street entrance.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, Drama Club will present more than 20 students with prepared monologues, skits and some original work. With a generous grant from Shineman Foundation, CNY Arts Center launched a Drama Club for seventh- and eighth-graders in collaboration with the school district.

Students have been studying all aspects of theater from acting to costume design and more. The group will reconvene in January to audition and rehearse a complete play for performance in April.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, the next Kids Onstage production will premiere “Ben and the Magic Paintbrush” for one performance only.

The short play is the culmination of the eight-week children’s theater program and welcomes newcomers Sophie Neveu and Meli Preston alongside returning veterans Griffin Marriner, Kyra Baker, Charlie Stoutenger and Ben Norton.

The adaptation of a Chinese folk tale was written by Bathsheba Doran and tells the tale of orphan siblings peddling for money as a sidewalk artist and living statue. The brave duo fall victim to a corrupt socialite in possession of a magic paintbrush and the adventure begins. The play is presented by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc at www.Playscripts.com.

This is the first production for second-grader Sophie Neveu, who plays the title role of Ben, a sidewalk artist, alongside Meline Preston, also a second-grader, as a statut whose challenge is to stand still.

Returning Kids Onstage members include Griffin Marriner, as the henpecked husband Harold, with several productions to his credit including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and most recently Charlotte’s Web where he played Mr. Zuckerman.

Kyra Baker, plays Harold’s pushy wife Cynthia, and is another veteran Kids Onstage member who has been with CNY Arts Center from the beginning. She was seen first in Yes, Virginia…The Musical, followed by The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Helen Keller, and most recently as Fern, in Charlotte’s Web.

Ben Norton, the bumbling policeman, is also in his fourth production with CNY Arts Center having been seen in Yes, Virginia, the Musical, as Sidney in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and most recently as Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web.

Charles Stoutenger rounds out the veterans in the cast as Pierre Robelinsky, a French artiste. Charlie shared the stage in Yes, Virginia…The Musical as a newsie and as Huck Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Kids Onstage will resume in January with a full length production expected in April. For more information on either group or presentation, visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

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