Lessons from the Art’s Children’s Theater will present the musical “The Velveteen Rabbit” on Aug. 9-10 at the Iola-Scandinavia High School auditorium.
The musical will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.
Admission is $5 and tickets will not be sold in advance.
“I’m very glad to provide a venue that young people can get involved in this area of the arts,” said Tammie Jo Berg, who operates the business. “I think the timing was great; building upon the successful musical at the high school this past year. It really piqued the interest of the younger students.”
Berg noted that theater, drama and music are all part of the arts and has always been part of her plan.
“An introduction to children’s theater was offered a few years ago,” she said. “John Turba taught that class and I have been looking for an available director for a production. When Lauri Wenninger actually approached me this past winter I was very excited.”
Wenninger will direct the production.
“I am grateful to Tammie Jo for her encouragement, support and for her studio to be our place where imagination takes flight during this process,” said Wenninger.
“The musical is taken from the story of The Velveteen Rabbit,” she said. “In the story, rabbit, skin horse and the other toys in the nursery have conversations about becoming real.”
“The boy in the story, Andrew, loves the rabbit to ‘realness’,” said Wenninger. “In our musical, Andrew will be Andrea instead.”
“The underlying theme is that to love and be loved, sometimes it hurts, but it is well worth it,” she added. “I love the magic of this story and the message it conveys,”
Wenninger, who has a Masters in education with specialization of the arts and learning, enjoys giving children opportunities in the arts – acting, singing, dancing.
“It encourages their imagination, yet teaches discipline in learning their lines for example,” she said.
The cast has 14 children from the area.
Mia Brier, will star as the Velveteen Rabbit, while Breanna Hutchinson will be Skin Horse, Kelly Jones, Andrea and Anna Kirk, Nana.
Other cast members include: Nevaeh Brown, Baylee Donovan, Cameron Hutchinson, Libby Maus, Julia Munoz, Briar Williams, Rebecca Woiak, Andrew Jones, Aaron Jones and Meghan Jones.
“What a great group of children in the cast,” said Wenninger. “They are having such a good time and are always helping one another without me even asking them to. It is so heartwarming for me as a director.”
Lindsey Haas is choreographing the musical.
“Our children have such a great opportunity to learn something about dancing as well,” said Wenninger. “I am also thankful to Lindsey,”