Theatre for Youth Tours Spartanburg

Alexis Jeter
Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre

Photo courtesy of Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre

The Youth Theatre class, led by Professor Rich Robinson, is touring Spartanburg County elementary schools this semester.

The touring show the Youth Theatre class show is performing is “The Near Sighted Knight and the Far Sighted Dragon by Eleanor and Ray Harder.

This is show a fast-paced, action-filled, forty-five minute fairy-tale adventure with two comedic characters who band together and use “perfect sight” to help a Princess save her mother who is imprisoned by the evil Duchess. As a result, the knight gets the second chance he was looking for and saves the kingdom with the Dragon.

The show may seem simple to do but obtaining the rights to perform the play, buying scripts, and pulling together costumes and props is another story. It takes time, money, energy, and effort to pull together a touring kids show.

Professor Robinson has many expectations for his students in his youth theatre class.

“My expectations are that everyone involved has fun, loves children and is focused in their portrayal of their specific character. I also want everyone to pull their own weight and work as a team. In the past years, there is always 1-2 people who are lazy, show up late for performances and those who don’t take this serious. This is hard for me as the coordinator since so many children look forward to this and we outreach to over 3,500 children, teachers and Administrators. I enjoy this because it is one of the best ways to learn your craft. I was taught from one of my favorite professors that the way to learn theatre is to do Shakespeare and children’s theatre. Children are honest and aren’t afraid to react to what they see. Kids are great to work with!”

Victoria Ria designed the costumes for the various characters in the show. She designed the costumes for the last year’s show “Click Clack Moo”.

Also, two students, Harley Bevill and Kelly Casteel volunteered to be in the production when there were not enough students to fill all the character spaces.

Jessi Lou, a History Major, enjoys the experience she has gained in this course.

“Being in Theatre for Youth has been an exciting and eye opening experience for me. As a History major, I do a lot of reading and writing papers, so it was nice to come into Theatre for Youth and be able to act silly and have fun while entertaining children,” Jessi said.

Recently, the youth theatre class went to Hendrix Elementary school, performed on campus, at First Baptist at downtown Spartanburg, Oakbrook, and Arcadia Elementary.

The tour started mid-April and will be touring until the first of May.

Cast List:

Anthony Gregory as the Knight

Harley Bevill as the Princess

Jake Salgado as the Dragon

Jessi Whitlock as the Duchess

Alexis Jeter as Wilfred

Kelly Casteel as a Guard

Teresa Varnum as the Captain

Heather White as the Queen