Need a warm, dry place to hang out after a monsoon week? Why not check out the Fine Arts Society of Willoughby.
After two weeks of performances, the weekend of “13” weekend looms. With music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Dan Eilish and Robert Horn, Sandy Kosovich Beck directed “13” and will be performed on September 30 and October 1 at 7:30 pm and October 2 at 2 pm. In the Federal Aviation Administration’s Corning Hall. A Special Mark for Explained Performance will be presented on October 2.
Ticket prices are $12 for children 10 and younger, $17 for students 11-18 and seniors 60 and older, and $19 for adults. visit www.fineartsassociation.org/performance To purchase tickets, call the FAA Customer Experience Team at 440-951-7500 with questions.
This “13” performance is a production by Yarnell Youth Theatre. Next week, we’ll tell you more about some of the young playwrights who brought this production to life.
McKenna Hagan is a 14-year-old student at Chardon High School who is active in choir performances and dances when she’s not performing in “13.” This isn’t her first Willoughby appearance, having also played the lead roles of Annie and Brigitta on The Sound of Music and Queen of Hearts in Alice in Danceland. She also appeared on stage at the Rabbit Run Theater in Madison as Lucille in “Johnny B Jones”.
“Any opportunity to take part in a show at the Fine Arts Society is a no-brainer,” McKenna says. “As someone who wants to do theater forever, working with their creative team has helped me grow more than I can ever imagine.
“Another great reason I wanted to do ’13’ was because I’ve been playing a lot of villains lately and having the opportunity to play the adorable love interest sounded so much fun,” she adds. “One of the best parts of the race so far is how honestly the audience laughed at the joke.”
As a teenager, McKenna has a good perspective on comparing the themes of the show with reality.
“The life of a young teen is totally different for everyone,” but it definitely has parts that fit my life and some actors have said the same.” Most of us have had a friend who “stabbed us in the back” or a crush on someone who has never felt it again. We wanted to fit into a group that didn’t really want us and “13” covers a lot of that.
“I just went to middle school and felt many of these feelings so there is a lot to use for inspiration. Maybe it makes it sound more authentic. I hope you do!”
Chase Oberhaus is an eighth grade student at Spring Garden Waldorf School and enjoys dancing, golf, cross country, baseball, basketball, and vocal lessons. He is a 14-year-old veteran and has appeared in “Newsies”, “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “School of Rock” at Weathervane Playhouse in Akron.
He recently started rehearsing for “Elf the Musical” at Weathervane, and has also appeared on “Falsettos” at the Canton Cultural Center, “A Christmas Story” at the Cleveland Play House, “Wedding Member” at The Beck Center, and “Oliver” at Medina Company. Show Biz.
“I wanted to be on ’13’ because the show sounded really funny and it seemed like a great opportunity that I can’t pass up,” Chase says, although he’s not sure how realistic that would be for everyone. “I think the show exaggerated things to make it more fun and it worked. It really is a great show and everyone should watch it.
“I think I’m saying this to the whole team that we’ve been working hard on the dancing and singing and the little things but very important things like passion and thinking about the future.”
To paraphrase this eternal teen Ferris Bueller, teens’ lives move very quickly. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it. Consider stopping and looking around the FAA stage this weekend.
Young Thespians is a column that focuses on young people in theater. Fall productions are coming! If you’d like to see a featured production or have an idea for a story, post it to the “Young Thespians” Facebook page or email [email protected]
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