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First Kids Onstage All-Youth Production Set to Open

FULTON, NY – Moving into the final days of preparation, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is set to run for two performances only, April 12 at 7pm and April 13 at 2 p.m. with a final dress rehearsal preview April 11 at 7 p.m.

The all youth production is produced by CNY Arts Center as part of their Kids Onstage theatre program for youth ages 7-15.

Matthew Oldenburg as Tom Sawyer and Charlie Stoutenger as Huck Finn rehearse their lines for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer running April 12 and 13 at CNY Arts Center.
Matthew Oldenburg as Tom Sawyer and Charlie Stoutenger as Huck Finn rehearse their lines for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer running April 12 and 13 at CNY Arts Center.

The cast has been rehearsing weekly since January under the direction of Amy Price, Richard Mosher and Adam Schmidtmann.

Students have received hands-on experience not only in acting, but also in working with props, lights, sound and stage managing. For young thespians learning all aspects of production, the freedom to make choices that impact the final production offers exciting prospects for creativity.

Bobby Simmons, a 12-year-old from Camillus, a self-proclaimed stand-up comic and children’s circus performer, volunteered for sound design and will be conducting live sound cues from backstage during the performance.

Searching out hidden clues in the script, Simmons researched environmental sounds not specifically called for in the script. Using practical items and a little ingenuity, Simmons will add an element of realism to the world of Tom and Huck with a few surprises in store.

The biggest challenge for the young actors has been pulling together a complete production in just ten weeks working in two-hour sessions.

“We wanted to keep the sessions to a normal Saturday program for two hours a week and the students have worked hard to bring the play to life,” said Price. “From costumes to character development, the young actors have really poured their selves into the demanding schedule, working on their own between classes to learn lines and prepare for their first audience.”

The play will open to an audience with the first dress rehearsal April 11 at 7 p.m.

In place of tickets for this preview, audiences are asked to pay-what-you-can in support of the Kids Onstage program.

Tickets for April 12 and 13 are a flat fee and will be available at the door.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will be presented at CNY Arts Center located in State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., using the Park Street entrance.

Saturday’s matinee will also serve hot dogs and nachos at the concession stand making the first all-youth production a festive celebration.

For more information, visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.