Alex’s Review of Rock The Presidents

I loved Rock the Presidents!  Usually politics are boring, and campaign commercials are mean, but Rock the Presidents was totally FUN and AMAZING!  The video below will tell you all about it. I hope you watch it and then go see the play!

Alex- Kid Reporter for Childsplay Theatre

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Hi I’m Noelle, Kid Reporter for Childsplay Theatre!

Noelle2.jpgJunie B. Jones is Not a Crook performed by Childsplay!

The play was amazing!

I used this Press Pass to take an exclusive backstage tour and interview the cast!

You can watch my Kid Reporter Video right here!

This video will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about the play. Will you watch it with your family? Then you can come to the next show and say “Hello!” ~ Noelle, Kid Reporter for Childsplay Theatre.

Noelle is a Kid Reporter for Childsplay Theatre, a member of the Family Review Team at www.ibelieveinjoy.com & contributor at “Snacking with Joy!” at www.sandiegofamily.com

Lizzie reviews A Wrinkle In Time!

“It was a dark and stormy night.” So begins the tale of Meg Murry, a stubborn girl who is the only one who can save the universe. Sounds simple, right? She only has to tesser through all of space and time, find a long-lost father, and defy the unimaginable tug of hypnotism from IT . . . not so simple.

Madeline L’Engle’s classic book A Wrinkle In Time is brought to an entirely new level in Childsplay’s stage play, directed by Dwayne Hartford. This thought-provoking story starts with Meg Murry and her nerdy brother, Charles Wallace, who always seems to be able to read her mind. Then a mystifying stranger turns up, telling them that there is such a thing as a “tesseract.” Soon the siblings meet Calvin and together they discover Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, three magical ladies who send them on the quest of a lifetime. They journey using the “tesseract,” a short way of travelling through time. They find Meg’s father on an evil planet controlled by IT—a giant brain Meg must confront whose hypnotism is incredibly strong.

Lizzie goes backstage and meets "IT" !!

Lizzie goes backstage and meets “IT”

“A Wrinkle in Time” stars Rebecca Duckworth as Meg, Will Hightower as Calvin, Cullen Law as Charles Wallace, Debra K. Stevens as Mrs. Whatsit, Yolanda London as Mrs. Who, and Kyle Sorrell as Father, and they all did an incredible job on the stage! When asked what they hoped the audience would take away from this play, Yolanda London answered, “Meg learns [at the end of the show] that what she considers to be her faults are ultimately what saves her . . . There’s something cool and awesome about accepting who you are and using exactly who you are to make your world better.”

Lizzie backstage in the "green room" interviews the cast!

Lizzie backstage in the “green room” interviewing the cast!

Lizzie talking with Rebecca Duckworth.

In addition to the fantastic acting on stage, the costumes, designs, and stage technology were also a wonder. Behind a screen, wired lights were strung across the back of the stage to create the stars. Debra K. Stevens’ (Mrs. Whatsit) winged centaur costume had beautiful, giant wings that extended out when Rebecca Duckworth (Meg) operated them from her seat on the horse body. Many fly-in objects were put to use as well, and pulleys and ropes operated them. On the floor of the stage, tape was used to mark where props stopped and moved during the production. The cast practiced six days a week for three weeks from ten to five o’clock PM until they got into the actual theatre, when they practiced ten out of twelve hours per day! The stage director, Samantha Monson, had only three days to put together all the lights, sounds, fly-ins, and technology—and that turned out to be one of the best parts of the play!

Lizzie gets an exclusive look at the lights.

Lizzie gets an exclusive look at the lights.

Lizzie gets up close and personal with Aunt Beast's costume.

Lizzie gets up close and personal with Aunt Beast’s costume.

I thought A Wrinkle in Time was one of the most humorous, clever, engaging, and best plays I have been to. As Rebecca Duckworth (Meg) said, “When I was a kid and the schools took us to see shows like this, I remember those very vividly, and they changed my life. Reading a book is an amazing thing, but seeing a story on stage, for me, is entirely different and much more powerful.” I know I will remember this one for many years to come, and I’m sure you will too! A Wrinkle in Time has been brilliantly put together to create a phenomenal production you’ll never forget!

Lizzie with the entire cast of A Wrinkle In Time!

Lizzie with the entire cast of A Wrinkle In Time!

Bryn Reviews Recipe For Disaster!

Bryn with cast of Recipe For Disaster.

Bryn with the cast of Recipe For Disaster.

One boy’s dream almost crushed because of a silly argument.  This young boy, better known as Apprentice, is trying to pass the “Big Test” in order to become a certified chef, just like his grandfather was. When he is introduced to this test, Headmaster runs himself into a humongous mistake; he chose two chefs instead of one! A competition between these two chefs, both wanting to become the “Chosen One,” creates a recipe for disaster. Their little inputs become so immense that, in the end, the poor boy’s dreams are almost ruined, until he has one more chance:  dessert!

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Bryn in the “green room” interviewing the cast!

Bryn interviewing Kate Haas and Jon Gentry.

Bryn interviewing Kate Haas and Jon Gentry.

David Dickinson and Ricky Araiza answer Bryn's questions.

David Dickinson and Ricky Araiza answer Bryn’s questions.

In order to make this disastrous recipe a recipe for success, you must add the right ingredients!  When I asked cast members Jon Gentry, David Dickinson, Kate Haas, and Ricky Araiza the unique question of “What ingredients make your recipe for success,” I received very interesting answers.  Kate Haas (Chef 1) told me that, in order to have a recipe for success, you have to have a sense of humor and good communication. Ricky Araiza (Apprentice) thought that having a supporting family and friends plus one main goal is the recipe.  Jon Gentry (Headmaster) said that you got to have the money! The REAL recipe for success is all of those mixed together!

Bryn gets to see all of the props used in the show, including the most delicious prop - the pudding!

Bryn got a look at all of the props used in the show, including the most delicious prop – the pudding!

My curiosity always takes the best of me, so I asked them a question that would allow me to snoop inside their refrigerators. Asking them to name only three ingredients they would want most in their fridges provided much information to me, and helped me understand what mattered the most to them. Jon Gentry said that, no matter what, he needed pepper, cheese, and milk. Kate Haas gave me a similar answer composed of cheese, apples, and bread. David Dickinson (Chef 2) answered, saying that he needed eggs, bread, and peanut butter.  Ricky Araiza went unique, saying hot sauce, cheese, and spinach. A very interesting combination, if you ask me.

Bryn discovering the magic of the set on her exclusive backstage tour!

Bryn discovering the magic of the set on her exclusive backstage tour!

The opposite of success is disaster, so I asked them, “What is your biggest disaster that has ever happened to you on stage?” David Dickinson told me that his biggest disaster ever was when he was going to perform at a school and he completely forgot his costume in the trunk of his car 30 miles away! Luckily, someone drove out to get it just in time. A completely different story, Jon Gentry told me that his disaster was when he dropped a glass fishbowl, causing it to shatter everywhere. He had some shards in his hands and knees, so when he walked he left bloodied footprints everywhere. He did say he was exaggerating just a little though! Ricky Araiza told me of the time that he got locked out of a car he had to take to a performance at a school and came an hour late. On the other hand, we have Kate Haas, who trips on stage, no matter what type of shoes she is wearing!

Once this play starts, you are instantly engulfed with laughter! It is such a riot that everyone from my grandfather down to my little brother enjoyed it. With such funny comedy in this show, it is a must see!

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Isabella Reviews Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type

Before I saw the play, I read the book.  I was wondering how the cows, hen, and duck were going to look.  When I read the book, I didn’t think it was that funny.  But when I saw the play, it wasn’t funny, it was hilarious!  I loved the play so much because of the cows, the hen, the duck, and Farmer Brown and the characters were very funny.  The characters had a lot of enthusiasm and enthusiasm makes everything more interesting.  I positively know that you will love the play!  The play was totally awesome!  I loved it so much, especially after the play, before the interviews, I was about to scream because it was so good!

Isabella types a message on a typewriter in the lobby. This is part of Childsplay's 360 Degree Activities.

Isabella types a message on a typewriter in the lobby. This is part of Childsplay’s 360 Degree Activities.

The play was about a farmer who had a farm, the cows and hen wanted electric blankets, and a duck wanted a diving board.  Also, it seemed like the duck and hen were in love!  The play was so good.  After the play, I went backstage for a tour.  I remembered from my last interview that on stage is called center stage, behind the stage is called back stage, the right of the stage is called right stage, and the left of the stage is called left stage.

Isabella takes a swim in Duck's pond!

Isabella takes a swim in Duck’s pond!

Isabella peaking out of Farmer Brown's house.

Isabella peeking out of Farmer Brown’s house.

Then it was time for my interviews.  Yolanda London, who was Cow1, said her character is strong and non-violent.  Katie McFadzen, who was Cow2, said that she has been in more than 100 plays!  This year is her 30th year and her first play was in 1993.  It was Debra K. Stevens’ birthday when I went to see the play.  She was the hen.  Her answer was that she loved being the hen!  Tim Shawver was Duck.  He answered his question and said I do love my character.  John Moum was Farmer Brown.  He said that he loves Choir.  My interviews were not great, they were spectacular!

Isabella interviews the cast in the green room.

Isabella interviews the cast in the green room.

I loved the play like always 🙂 All of you people reading this should go watch that spectacular Childsplay show right now!

From The Kid Reporter,

Isabella

Isabella with the cast of Click Clack Moo after her interviews.

Isabella with the cast of Click Clack Moo after her interviews.

Isabella reviews Junie B. Jones!

So, you want to know what I thought about the great party and spectacular play, too?  Ok, but first we have to stick with the basics.  By basics, I mean the party.  I loved, loved, loved, loved the party so much!  There were stations at the party.  The first station was called Wrapping Paper.  First, I thought it meant we were going to wrap a present.  But instead we made our own wrapping paper.  The next station was called Cookies.  First I thought we were just going to eat them.  But we actually decorated the cookies and had a candy cane.  Then came a choice of hot chocolate and fruit punch.  I chose hot chocolate.  It came with marshmallows.  Then our third station was called Singing Routine.  I thought we were going to only sing Christmas songs.  But instead we sang one Christmas song and one funny song.  The funny song was first and it was called “The Moose Song”.  The Christmas song was second and it was called “Jingle Bells”.  The last station was called Ornaments.  First, I thought we were going to decorate a tree, but when I saw no tree, then I knew I wasn’t right.  We actually decorated ornaments.  Overall, I loved the party!

Now, I’m going to tell you about the best part.  The best part was the play!  The play was totally awesome!  I loved it so much.  After the play, before the interviews, I was about to scream because it was so good!  The play was about a girl named Junie B. Jones who was in first grade.  She didn’t get along well with a girl named May in her class.  If they kept on fighting, they would have to go to the Principal’s office.  In the class, they picked names for their Secret Santa gifts and they each had a certain amount of money to buy a couple things.  Junie B. did not think she had enough money.  The play was so good, I had tears in my eyes at the end.  All just because it was so good!  By the way, it was also hilarious!  By hilarious, I mean it was so awesomely funny!

Santa Maria and Pinta

After the play, I went backstage for a tour.  I learned that on stage is called center stage.  Behind the stage is called back stage.  The right of the stage is called right stage and the left of the stage is called left stage.

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Then I did my interviews.  In my interviews, Katie McFadzen, who was Junie B., told me how she would describe the Junie B. character.  Her answer was sassy, sarcastic, similar to her, and funny.  Debra K. Stevens, who was May, also told me how she would describe her character.  She said misunderstood, lonely, and she also worked hard to get a friend.  Dwayne Hartford, who was Mr. Scary, told me how he would describe his character.  He said patient, kind, and he likes kids.  He also told me that Mr. Scary thinks kids are really active.  Jon Gentry, who was Herb and Grandpa Miller, said he has been a Childsplay teacher and that he’s taught a LOT of classes.  The first one he taught was Wilma’s Revenge.  Kate Haas, who was Lucille and Elf Ellen, told me Lucille was fancy and proud.  (I have also been in her class before!  The class was called Holidays in July.)

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Ricky Araiza, who was Jose and Mr. Toot (the music teacher), was not here for the interview.  He was doing a different play.  Michael Peck was Sheldon and Philip Johnny Bob.  (Philip Johnny Bob is actually a stuffed animal.  There was a microphone back stage so he could talk into it.)  My interviews were great!

I think all of you reading this should go see the play!!  Bye now.  See you next time!  🙂

-Isabella

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The Giver Review – By Lizzie

It started when I walked in the theatre.  It seemed like I had simply entered a completely different world.  There were gray backdrops and floors, gray furniture, gray chairs, gray everything.  There was no color.  Everything in the theatre seemed to add to the effect.

Louis Farber (Father) gave Lizzie an exclusive tour of the set!

Even the costumes. When the actors came onstage, they all wore the same gray outfit, and I found out afterwards that they all wore wigs except for the Mother and Jonas. All of the wigs, except the Giver’s, had dark, straight hair. The Giver’s was very complex, including a special wig for his beard, hair, and even eyebrows! 

Lizzie even got a tour of the actors’ dressing rooms.

The show proved to be absolutely inspiring.  There were some parts that were humorous, and others solemn.  The actors were so talented at making me feel like I was in the story.  The actors even walked and sat simultaneously with not even a trace of expression on their faces, which contributed to the feeling of sameness and control.  The two characters that did express emotion were Jonas (Adrian Hernandez) and the Giver (Dwayne Hartford).

It has to be hard to put so much information in a one-hour play. So, to show how time passed, Jonas moved from one side of the stage to the other to show the transitions from the Giver’s room to his dwelling.  I thought that was very clever.

The stage director, Samantha Monson, only had three days to coordinate the video, lights, and sound and to make sure everything stayed in sync during the show, which she did a fantastic job at! Everything was timed perfectly. She did this by talking through a headset to the other people.

There was a lot of technology use in the show.  For example, there were towering screens that showed how Jonas saw the world and how that changed from beginning to end. There were parts where the screens showed announcements in the story, thoughts of the characters, and memories.

When asked what advice they would give to young actors, each of the cast members shared their words of wisdom.  “Be kind to everyone you work with and be pleasant to work with,” said Michelle Cuneen, (Lily).

“For me, it’s been a lot of persistence,” said Adrian Hernandez.

Lizzie sits down with the cast after the performance for an exclusive interview!

 Louis Farber (Father) said, “I would say that it is possible to do, and to not let someone tell you that it is not possible.”

 “[Acting] could be your job. I never knew that could be my job,” said Kaleena Newman.

“Prepare yourself to do as many things around the theatre . . .do music, do dance, learn about stage management, house management, design, costuming, and learn as much stuff as you can beyond just being an actor . . . It’s not just me on the stage, it’s many people working together towards a common goal,” said Debra K. Stevens (Mother).

 “A life in the arts is incredibly rewarding,” Dwayne Hartford said, “but I would encourage anyone to pursue it for the arts’ sake because that’s what feeds your soul. Don’t do it to become famous. Do it because it feeds you.” 

As you can see, each of the actors and the people who helped make this production possible gave this show their best, making this moving play a must-see for all families to discover the true meaning of choice and freedom.

Lizzie with the entire cast of THE GIVER.

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