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Charlotte’s Web to kick off Centerstage’s second season

Xavier Smith • Jul 7, 2017 at 3:18 PM

Centerstage Theatre Co. will kick off its second season with its most diverse production that will feature more than 30 local children as the group debuts “Charlotte’s Web” later this month.

The production will take place July 21-29, with show times set for Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., at the Living Word Family Worship Center at 3633 Poplar Hill Road in Watertown.

Centerstage co-founder Mitchell Vantrease will co-direct the show with Shawna Rayford, who starred as Rose Maxson in the group’s production of “Fences” last year.

“She’s fantastic. She’s just a great person to be around in general, along with a fantastic actress. She has her college degree in theatre, and she’s been great with the kids,” Vantrease said.

The production will feature 32 children 6-13 years old from Lebanon and Watertown. Vantrease said the cast is probably the most diverse ever assembled for the group.

“They’ve been working really hard. Just like some of the adults, some of them are having their first experience with live theater and on stage,” said Vantrease, who said some children have paired with mentors from previous productions.

Vantrease said many people have asked for a children’s production since the company’s inception, and he figured it was a great time to have the production since children are out of school for the summer. He said he was surprised by the cast’s excitement.

“I was surprised by their willingness to learn and their eagerness to learn about theatre,” said Vantrease, who said the process has focused on the basics during many points. “I thought it would be more directing, but it’s more like a summer theatre kids camp. I’ve had a blast.”

Tickets for “Charlotte’s Web” are available online at brownpapertickets.com, or at Iddy and Oscar’s on the Lebanon Square. Tickets are $10 for general admission.

Centerstage will also hold auditions for its next production, “Father of the Bride,” on July 24-25 from 6:30-9 p.m. For more information, visit Centerstage Theatre Co. on Facebook.  

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