This summer’s production of “Little Red Riding Hood” at Lexington’s Village Square Theatre is anything but the predictable fairy tale you remember.
It features a cast of more than 35 characters who reside in Fairytale Land under the rule of Mother Goose. When she takes a vacation, a group of Brownies make mischief with her magic. As a result, the Big Bad Wolf turns into a car salesman, the Evil Queen is transformed into a cheerleader, the Three Bears discover a new talent for rapping, the Giant shrinks and The Little Mermaid develops a water phobia.
The script was written by Director Debra Leopard with the express purpose of giving every participant in the theater’s Junior Arts Summer Workshop a speaking role in a play. This year, there are 140 actors ranging in age from 4 to 16 years old participating in the workshop. They are divided into four casts, each performing three shows for a total of 12 performances.
“I designed the program to give young and inexperienced actors a chance to have a real theater experience,” Leopard said. “It is often hard for first-time actors to get cast in shows, and this gives them a guaranteed role with speaking lines. They go through the entire process, from auditions, through rehearsals, learning lines, character development, dress rehearsals and performances.”
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This is the seventh year of the summer acting workshop and production. Leopard said it is a challenge every year to write new scripts and coordinate productions for large casts of young actors. But she hopes the actors discover a love for the theater.
“It is my goal to foster a love of performing arts in the younger generation, so we will have future participants and patrons,” Leopard said.
Remaining performances are July 29, 30, 31 and Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 2 at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Aug. 3 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 each. View cast lists and order tickets at villagesquaretheatre.com.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State