13 The Musical...
Northbrook resident Aaron Kates, as Archie, sings of his ideal girlfriend, Kendra, played by Jessie Walsh while cast members of the musical provide choreographic and vocal support.
June 3, 2016
All told, since being excluded from the Leisure Center and its theatre, KIDSTAGE has successfully produced four musicals involving 297 child actors and viewed by audiences totaling 4,047. Dozens of KIDSTAGE Kids have also volunteered their time as stage crews for the productions. In addition 13 Glenbrook North students have earned credit for their sociology class by working with KIDSTAGE, helping to coach participants and hundreds of parent volunteers have donated their time providing help with makeup, costumes and serving as ushers demonstrating that KIDSTAGE is a true Northbrook community program and a success.
"Dr. Gregory C. Dennhardt, who founded Children's Theatre in Northbrook and who was removed from the position he held for thirty-three years, with the Park District, agreed to come out of retirement and serve as our Artistic Director," His presence has been a Godsend. "No one works with kids like 'Doc', His knowledge of theatre is tremendous and his rapport with children is unmatched".
Thus far, Dr. Dennhardt has directed "The Wiz" and "13 - the musical". Thirteen year old Northbrook resident Shayley Polikov, who appeared in both shows, had this to say about her director, “It has been an educational and fun experience working with Doc. I have learned so much about music and theater from him. He has amazing patience with us and so much knowledge to share. He is our director, our mentor and our friend.”
Rhea Saffer, the mother of two KIDSTAGE Kids, absolutely loves the program saying, “Having children in both age groups, I would have to say that the greatest gift that KIDSTAGE has given my children is a deep love for live theatre. In addition, they are learning proper stage etiquette, character development, working as a part of an ensemble and they are gaining all of the benefits of publicly performing. Most importantly, they are having a blast! All of this under the guidance of professional directors, choreographers and musical directors.”
As for “Doc”, he says that he's happy to be back working for KIDSTAGE. "The Northbrook kids are great. There's so much talent and they're easy to direct. They listen to my suggestions and put them to use onstage." “Doc” also says that rehearsing at the YMCA and performing at the Gorton Center has been wonderful. "Both places are very accommodating. They are encouraging and never say 'no'. Their response to a request is always 'yes'; 'we can do that for you'; 'we'll make it happen'". KIDSTAGE fosters a supportive atmosphere where individuality is encouraged both with staff and with its young actors”.
For the future, KIDSTAGE has big plans. We’ve already got our show dates mapped out for next year. We're considering show choices, which we will announce soon, and we've got rehearsal dates planned, We wanted to get a summer drama camp going this year but the logistics of getting settled in our new spaces made the planning impossible, but watch for us next summer.
For more information about KIDSTAGE and how your children can become involved in this outstanding theatre program for kids, call Jeanne at KIDSTAGE 847-814-2464 or go online to Kidstage.org.
At The Hop...
The KIDSTAGE rock n’ roll musical, “At The Hop” featured two “nerds” who find love at Mom’s Malt Shoppe. Peggy Sue Olson and Henry Harley were played by Northbrook residents.
Northbrook resident Allie Hartman, as Dorothy, is welcomed to the Emerald City by Gatekeeper, Sam Saffar as the Tinman (Peyton Friedlander), Scarecrow (Taylor Davidson), Lion (Andrew Kane) and Toto (Rylan Roy) look on.