Saturday morning, May 21 at 7:30 am, 18 kids along with parents, teachers and chaperones began arriving at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre. We boarded a bus at 8am and by 8:15 am, the kids were belting musical theatre tunes while the adults sipped on their Starbucks! ACT ONE was on the road heading to Chicago to share what we do with the people of the Windy City. This trip is the first of what we hope will become a tradition for this group.
A program of the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and its Educational wing, Jr. Civic, ACT ONE was founded in 2006 by Director of Music & Education, Brent E. Marty and Director of Education Programs, Holly Stults Haas. The talented youngsters in ACT ONE come from throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area and are required to be experienced performers before auditioning for the troupe.
The day began with exploring Millennium Park and then we had the wonderful opportunity to have tours of both the Private Bank and the Cadillac Palace Theatres. The tour guide was quite impressed when one of our kids asked how many lines the theatre had on its fly rail!
The first performance opportunity was at 360 Chicago at the John Hancock Tower – 94 floors above the city. The group performed numbers from the musical theatre canon including: “Open a New Window” (Mame); “Broadway Baby” (Follies); “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (Mary Poppins) and “Chicago, Illinois” (Victor/Victoria). After delicious pizza at Gino’s East, the day concluded with a stunning production of THE KING & I at the Chicago Lyric Opera. The group even got to meet some of the cast members. Bravo!
Day two took us to the Shedd Aquarium where our performance went swimmingly! Viewing the aquatics show gave everyone an appreciation for training and rehearsal as we watched the dolphins and Beluga whales preform and do choreography. We left Chicago that afternoon exhilarated, excited, empowered and exhausted! Needless to say, the bus ride home was quieter than the trip there. Now we are onto our next project: performing at the opening ceremonies at the Special Olympics State Games in Terre Haute, IN in June.
The mission of ACT ONE is to provide multiple performance opportunities for young performers, age 7-15, throughout the region and beyond while teaching the values of teamwork and discipline inherent to the performing arts in general and to the mission of Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre – to foster a love of theatre through imagination, education, and participation.