By Crystal McGough, Editor
TRUSSVILLE – ACTA Theater sold out all four performances of Mary Poppins Jr. this past weekend, Aug. 4-6, 2023.
As the final ACTA Jr. theater camp production this summer, 50 students from grades 2-12 worked hard over a two-week period to learn their parts and make ready a performance worth selling-out, all while making new friends and reuniting with old friends.
“(The) children have all been so wonderful in terms of learning all the things they’ve learned, all the things they’ve accomplished in only two weeks,” Director Lynne Long said. “I’m so proud of them.”
Mary Poppins Jr. takes place in London, England, in 1910. The musical stage act is based on the stories of P. L. Travers, as well as the Walt Disney film.
“The Mary Poppins film came out in 1964, when I was nine,” Long said in the Director’s Notes. “Of course, I fell in love with the sassy British nanny. I think most of us did.
“The story still sounds familiar – an overworked father, a frustrated mother, and two bored kids,” Long continued. “But a magical transformation takes place. That’s sort of how I feel whenever I am part of a summer camp. The magical transformation is with the kids! The things they learn, accomplish, and execute are nothing short of miraculous, and it never ceases to amaze. Some of them say that ACTA is their ‘happy place.’ There’s no more sincere endorsement than that.”
Of course, the show could not have come together without the gifts and talents of the ACTA Jr. staff, including Long, assistant director and choreographer Jessica Lloyd, musical director Jennifer Day, and costumer Elise Hill, as well as several camp counselors, tech workers and theater manager Paige Turner.
While summer camps have ended, there are still plenty of upcoming opportunities for thespians, both young and old, to perform live on stage at ACTA Theater.
The next ACTA Jr. performance will be Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” directed by Jennifer Day. Those performances will take place Dec. 14-17, 2023.
Additionally, ACTA Jr. will resume its PREMIERE and ENCORE Classes the week of Sept. 11, 2023, with classes ending the week of Nov. 13, 2023. The Students’ Showcase is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 18, 2023.
ACTA’s PREMIERE class is for students in grades 2-5. This class will meet on Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and students will learn basics of theatre, audition preparation, character development and acting skills.
The ENCORE class is for students in grades 6-10. This class will be taught by Alex Wilson Cardwell on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students will learn performance skills, stage presence and character development through short plays, monologues and role play.
For more information on ACTA Theater, including upcoming productions, auditions and ticket sales, please visit actatheater.com.