Richmond Community Theater to host annual charity show – The Voice
There’s no time for post-holiday let down in Richmond, as the theater season revs up this January with a production planned at the Richmond Community Theater and pre-production starting at Richmond High School.
The Richmond Community Theater is planning its annual charity show Jan. 6-8, premiering the original play, “Glitch.”
“It is an original play written and directed by a member named Jarred Norman about his struggles with epilepsy,” Richmond Community Theater Artistic Director Bryan Braun said.
The show will be performed Jan. 6 and 7, with doors opening at 7:30 pm and the show starting at 8 pm On Jan. 8, the doors will open at 1:30 pm, and the show will begin at 2 pm
Braun said the show is a play, not a musical.
“It follows the character of Brett Norman as he is diagnosed with epilepsy, through high school, and shows him as a well-adjusted adult who is reaching out to help others who are struggling with epilepsy,” Braun said. “We get insight into what it is to have a young kid who suddenly starts to have seizures and the scary situations that come along with that, to what it is like for a teenager to try to adjust to life with the condition, and the friends who are there for him and those who show their true colors and are not there for him.”
Braun said the theater has traditionally done a charity show for the past five years or so to give back to the community. In the past the show has benefited Turning Point, which assists survivors of domestic and sexual violence through services and resources, and Alana’s Foundation, which provides influenza education and awareness. Braun said for this year’s show, half of the ticket sales will be donated to the Epilepsy Foundation.
The Richmond Community Theater is located at 69619 Parker St. in Richmond. Ticket price is $10 per person, cash only. Tickets are sold at the door only.
‘The Little Mermaid’
Richmond High School is in the preparation stages this January for its own theater production, a musical stage show of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” The show is based on the 1989 Disney animated film.
Braun serves as Richmond High School’s theater director, and revived the school’s theater program as an after-school activity this school year with a November production of “Puffs.” He said that as the theater program is new, he selected “The Little Mermaid” musical in order to appeal to current high school students and to interest younger kids in potentially becoming part of the program when they reach high school age.
“Also, it is a well-known story and it is a lot of fun, and a show I have actually wanted to direct for a while. The potential for things you can do is almost unlimited,” Braun said.
A pre-production meeting is scheduled for Jan. 13 from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm in the school’s auditorium. Braun said he will pass out cuttings during this meeting, so students can prepare for the auditions.
Students will begin to audition in the auditorium on Jan. 23 and Jan. 25, both days from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm Students should be prepared for acting, singing and potentially dance auditions, held before Braun, an assistant director and a music director.
Fan favorite songs from the film that are a part of the stage version include “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” “Under the Sea,” and “Kiss the Girl.” The stage version of “The Little Mermaid” contains more songs than the animated film.
“The story is expanded a little more to help work better on stage and draw out the time a little bit,” Braun said. “But at its core it is the same story and the same idea.”
The musical offers plenty of opportunities for student participation, as Braun said there are 11 named characters and an unlimited number of people can be a part of the chorus. A minimum of five or six students will also be needed for backstage help.
“Of course, we can always take more,” Braun said. “Students are welcome to participate in any way they want, be it acting or being a part of the crew.”
Braun estimated students will do rehearsal and production work for about four days a week.
“One thing they will learn is how to act like you are a cartoon without actually being a cartoon. Sure, this is live action and supposed to be live action, but we all know the cartoon, and we want to give that feeling of the fantasy of the cartoon,” Braun said. “They will also learn how to represent without having, like for example, with the costumes, there will be patterns or colors to represent the character rather than wearing a certain animal costume.”
Braun also said he plans to have the students focus on character analysis, the reasons why characters in the show are motivated to take the actions they take.
“For example, why does Ariel want to be human? Because it is so much more than just she met a boy she likes. I want them to really believe what they are doing and really understand the motivations,” Braun said.
“The Little Mermaid” stage musical will debut at Richmond High School April 21 and 22 at 7 pm, and April 23 at 2 pm The school is located at 35320 Division Road in Richmond.
Braun said tickets will go on sale online at gofan.co/app/school/MI87576 about a month after the start of auditions. Tickets will also be available at the door on show dates. The cost for tickets is $10 per person.
Nicole Tuttle is a freelance reporter for MediaNews Group.