EASTON — Commissioned by the Kennedy Center, composer Zina Goldrich and book writer/lyricist Marcy Heisler have dreamed up a story that’s part “High School Musical,” part “Glee” and part sheer arts-geek wish fulfillment.
The Avalon Foundation acting wing, featuring local high school age actors will put up the witty and zippily executed “Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred) on April 29 and April 30 at 8 p.m. and May 2 at 3 p.m. at the new outdoor space, The Avalon’s Stoltz Pavilion. Tickets will be available online at avalonfoundaiton.org or at the door on performance days.
When an Easton drama club adapts the fairy tale “Snow White, Rose Red” for a regional theater championship — a contest zealously covered by local radio, the teens must cope with a last-minute crisis: An actor sent to spy on a rival Eastern Shore team’s “Hansel and Gretel” has fallen ill. So a gorgeous prep-school student named Fred steps into the Easton team’s vacant role — with near-catastrophic results. This family-friendly musical comedy reimagines the Brothers’ Grimm tale about what happens when a high-school drama team desperately tries to win the local thespian competition.
“I had the opportunity to work with the writers a few years ago and promised myself I would put on this show with high school age students when I had the right opportunity,” Director Kimberly Stevens said. Stevens previously directed two middle-school-age productions by the writing team, “Junie B. Jones” and “Dear Edwina.”
“With the shutdown in 2020, I knew it would take some time to get back to the level of children’s theatre productions that we were known for at the Avalon Theatre and I knew we had to start slow … and start small,” Stevens said. “Originally written for 5 actors (there are 7 actors in the production), I thought this was a perfect opportunity to put on this fun, musical comedy. The writers really have a perfect recipe for fun, heart-warming theatre productions. It’s fast paced, it’s light-hearted and it will give you a ton of good laughs. A perfect cure for the post pandemic hangover.”
The production stars local high schoolers Luke Adelman, Sara Anthony, Lilly Cook, Ethan Mobarek, Haley Nestel, Emily Royer and Becca Smith. The show represents a culmination point for a few of the performers in the production.
“For some of the cast, this is their last local production before heading off to college,” said Tim Weigand, who worked as acting coach on the production. “They have been on stage since they were children whether they were working with Kimberly at Chesapeake Children’s Theatre, Ricky Vitanovic at the elementary or high school level or here at the Avalon in one of the holiday shows. Good theatre often involves good timing and as a result of the many opportunities they have had over the years, these teens hit it out of the park in this production. We are happy they were able to pull it off safely during the pandemic.”