Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, School of Theatre Training is a year long academy for 4th-12th grade students. The classes begin in September and culminate in the three productions showcased all on one weekend (May 16-18, 2008), helmed by both the Education Staff and Children’s Theatre Production Team. The rehearsal process is only a matter of weeks for each large cast. The shows are in repertory style with three very different types of plays, all cut down to approximately one hour fifteen minutes. 


The only musical included in the weekend, the classic “Fiddler on the Roof” is an ambitious choice. Taking place in the early 1900s in the small village of Anatevka (presumably in Russia), the poor Jewish villagers must contend with a changing world. The story is told by Tevye (Stephen Friedrich), establishing immediately with the song, “Tradition,” that they are desperately trying to cling to and honor the old way of life, but the traditions are as precarious as a “fiddler on the roof.” The Fiddler (Abby Corrigan) shows up periodically to remind the audience that change is inevitable. 

Tevye is so poor that he has to pull his own wagon when his horse is injured. A big part of the original charm of the play is that the character of Tevye is very engaging in his asides to the audience and his questioning of God’s plan for him and his family. Tevye and his wife Golde (Camille Gross) have five daughters, but little money to attract husbands. What’s interesting about the character of Tevye is that although he is an old-fashioned father, he loves his family and wants their happiness enough to let them marry who they love. 

The musical arrangements and choreography for the songs, “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life (L’Chaim),” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Do You Love Me?,” are all well done by this young, enthusiastic cast. Surprisingly, the look of the production is a bit bland, but doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the show. Especially notable are performances by Stephen Friedrich as Teyve, Camille Gross as Golde, Nicole Ramsey as Tzietel, Abby Moore as Hodel, Savannah Devore as Chava, and Colin Moore as Perchick. 

Photo by Donna BiseFIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Book by Joseph Stein

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Music by Jerry Bock

Directed by Jen Band 

~  Cast  ~

Tevye: Stephen Friedrich
Golde: Camille Gross
Tzietel: Nicole Ramsey
Hodel: Abby Moore
Chava: Savannah Devore
Sphrintze: Jadon White
Bielke: Brook Feinglass
Fiddler: Abby Corrigan
Motel: Calvin Gross
Perchick: Colin Moore
Fyedka: Jamie Marsicano
Yente: Tatjana Moffit
Lazaar Wolf: Joe Ehrman-Dupre
Rabbi: Savannah Jillani
Yussel: Kylie Nall
Sasha: Matt Mitchel
Vladimir: Caroline McKinley
Mordcha: Emily Yue
Constable: Kevin Ortiz
Amir: Charlie Colley
Dor: Kyle Alderdice
Elkan: Zoe Holderness
Gavriel: Laura Perotta
Reuben: Caroline Reid
Fruma: Kristen Alderdice
Hendel: Morgan Wardlaw
Ilana: Emily Valentine
Kaila: Tessa Belongia
Margalita: Kiyah Clemence
Rayna: Kelly Kapur
Rifka: Brianna Markle
Tamar: Fraser Casey
Varda: Kelsey Wardlaw
Mirian: Caroline Roddey
Abraham: Jack Eiselt
Falk: Ally Ronanye 

Production Staff

Stage Manager: Beth Simpson
Assistant Stage Manager: Tanya McClellan
Costume Designer: Lane Morris
Assistant Costume Designer: Rachel Tate
Costume Assistant: Dani Beamer
Additional Help: Lauren Lofgren
Additional Help: Anthony Martella
Additional Help: Laura Gerlock
Backstage Dressers: Dani Beamer, Rachel Tate  


This production certainly had energy to spare. Based on folklore from the southeast, it is imaginative and fun, though gets across its message that one has to stand up to his/her fears. Wiley, living by the edge of a swamp with his Mammy is plagued by nightmares of the Hairy Man, a villain who supposedly got his Pappy years ago and is trying to get Wiley, too. The simple, spare, yet common sense dialogue such as, “When the Hairy Man gets mad, that’s bad,” is a perfect compliment to the visuals. 

Wiley’s Mammy can conjure (has some magic) but Wiley has to trick the Hairy Man three times himself to be rid of it forever. So Wiley has to learn to outwit Hairy Man through self-reliance. Sarah O’Rourke is appealing as Wiley, and nothing is lost from the story by her playing the role of a boy. Hayden Rockecharlie is a believable Mammy. Hairy Man is played by a group of young actors, and there are three hound dogs (the only thing that scares the Hairy Man), as well as a large ensemble. 

This production, well directed by Marcus Sherman, had entertainment value to spare. The set design, especially of the swamp, added to the ghostly atmosphere. The costumes were clever as well. 


By Suzan Zeder

Directed by Marcus Sherman 

~  Cast  ~

Wiley: Sarah O’Rourke
Mammy: Hayden Rockecharlie

Hairy Man:
Beth Kiser
Daniel Morrice
Justin Ortlip
Erika Rasile
Nigel Robinson
Allie Shell
Allison Whitmeyer

Kathryn Lynch
Jazzmia Martin
Hailey York

Kate Aberman
Addy Allred
Emma Cooke
Jacob Fleming
Audra Griffin
Jennifer Hendricks
Helena Herndon
Megan McCorkle
Elizabeth Moyer
Giordana Ollila
Courtney Schneider
Madison Skala
Burke Spivey
Lauren Tate
Natasha Tong
Reevie Walton
Molly Warner
Lauren Wheeler
Mason Zgoda 

Production Staff:
Stage Manager: Andrea St. Clair
Assistant Stage Manager: Kaylee Johnson
Costume Designer: Paula Garafolo 


Many adults are probably familiar with the story of the Musketeers who may very well be precursors to smart-alecky heroes played by actors on movie screens. The intrigue, betrayal, wit, and loves of the 17th Century French court are represented as hinging on the balance of power between the not-too-bright King Louis XIII, and his nemesis, Cardinal Richelieu. 

The young, hot-headed, over-confident d’Artagnan (Charlie Holt) comes to Paris hoping to join the Musketeers, but finds himself getting into disagreements with just about everybody. At one point he is to have three sword fights in a row that turn out to be with Athos (Charlotte Parrott), Porthos (Matthew Carlson), and Aramis (Alex Rosinski), who are, in fact, The Three Musketeers. When the Cardinal’s guards show up, d’Artagnan fights with the Musketeers and they accept him as their fellow soldier. 

The play has a complicated plot and many characters. It didn’t help that occasionally the dialogue was barely audible; although this wasn’t fatal to the enjoyment of the production. The lead roles were well-done, the set and costumes interesting and colorful, and the fight choreography, for a short rehearsal schedule, was impressive. 

The three On Stage productions were each performed twice during the weekend and showed the joy of students learning about live theatre and loving the experience. We are grateful that Children’s Theatre of Charlotte can offer such quality training to the city’s young students. 


By Alexander Dumas

Dramatized by Max Bush

Directed by Jill Bloede 

~  Cast  ~

D’Artagnan: Charlie Holt
Sylvie, his mother: Carly Blumenstein
Alise, his grandmother: Jessie Wilbanks
Madeline, an innkeeper: Marell Cook
Clarisse, her daughter: Angela Syrett
Count de Rochefort: Daniel Szymczyk
Milady de Winter: Morgan Grubbs
Athos, a Musketeer: Charlotte Parrott
Porthos, a Musketeer: Matthew Carlson
Aramis, a Musketeer, Alex Rosinski
Cardinal Richelieu: Arielle Gross
Cardinal Guard deJussac: Jackson Zerkle
Cardinal Guard Cahusac: Rebecca Moore
Cardinal Guard Biscarat: Robert Baker
Cardinal Guard Boisenard: Jura Davis
King Louis XIII: Dylan Moore
Queen Anne: Carrie Holt
Constance, the Queens’s seamstress: Elaine Petigout
Bonacieux, Constance’s husband: Sam Bickford
Jacqueline, Queen’s maid: Felicia Sutton
Duke of Buckingham: Kenneth Bahr
Captain de Treville Ashley Allison
Musketeers in Training: Daryl Anderton
Greg Clark
Hannah Bridges
Briann Messick
The Stranger: Steven Hendricks
Marie, an innkeeper: Sarah Tucker
Marguerite: Emily Wakeman
Pomme: Gabriela Celecia
Chloe: Haley Rassette
Josette: Cary Williamson 

Production Staff:
Fight Choreographer: Andrea King
Fight Captain: Steven Hendricks

Photos by Donna Bise.

Reviewed by Ann Marie Oliva
Ann Marie Oliva's plays have had over 80 productions across the US. She is founder of the playwrights in residence at Theatre Charlotte in North Carolina. Ann Marie is producer/editor of ARTS à la Mode, a website devoted to the arts that includes film and local theatre reviews.



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