OSWEGO – Norman Berlin III started with the Oswego Players when he was only 8 years old.
That was back in 2001.
And for all those years he acted on stage, built sets with his dad, Norman Berlin II, hung out in the lobby box office with his mom, Sonia, made theater friends young and not so young, and just soaked up everything he could about community theater.
Now, all these years later, and with two shows under his belt as director, he finds himself surrounded by 20 of the most talented young thespians you could ever want to meet.
His name is Norman Berlin III; we call him Norm. He is in the middle of directing “Fairytale Courtroom,” the upcoming Christmas show from the collaboration of the Oswego Players and its Theater Arts Youth Academy,
The family comedy takes place in a courtroom where the trial of the Big Bad Wolf and the Wicked Witch of the West is being held for crimes against children everywhere.
And, to their great surprise, many of the characters TBBW and TWWOTW have scared time and time again are called to the witness stand to testify.
As the trial commences, the audience is treated to the hilarious and outrageous shenanigans of all involved.
This is Berlin’s third go around in the director’s chair.
He recently directed the Oswego High School’s production of “Play On” and last year took on the Players’ production of “A Christmas Story” with great success.
With the exception of two years away at graduate school, he has been involved in the activities of the OP since joining back in 2001.
He sits on the board of directors of the Oswego Players as historian, and is on the production team of the group as well.
But when anyone asks him, he is not at all shy about telling them of his great love of working with special needs students for the Oswego City School District.
He obviously has a way with kids.
And his enthusiasm, high energy, and love of theater rubs off on those who work with him.
But, as usual, kids say it best.
Noah Water, who plays a dual role in this production recently shared some thoughts.
”My name is Noah. I am 10 years old and I am currently in the production of Fairytale Courtroom. This is my first time doing a show here and having a big role. Theater so far for me has been a really really fun time. I have enjoyed being able to learn a lot from Mr. Norm our director all about the casting process, what it takes to be a director and how to put together costumes. I have even been able to give him ideas that are going to be used in the show. This has been a really great experience. I have met a lot of new friends and I hope this summer I am able to do another show,” je said.
Without question, Berlin has 19 other talented young students who feel very much the same way.
Come on out and enjoy some family fun when the show plays December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 in the Frances Marion Brown Theater, Civic Arts Center, Oswego.
Tickets are available at: oswegoplayers.org or by calling the box office at 315-343-5138.
This production is made possible through the generous support of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, the Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, the Oswego County Community Foundation and CNY Arts.
We thank them.