By: Trey Bryant
The Academy of Children's Theatre 2 Act play "Pollyanna" is set in 1910 America and, manages to capture all of the charm and nostolgia of the era. Plaudits must be given to Director, and script author, Cynthia Whitaker for managing the large cast of nearly 50 people- most of whom were children.
Ten year old Gabrielle "Gabby" Stimits (Pollyanna Herrington), stayed true to herself and the classic role, winning over the hearts of every audience member with her bright-eyed and bushy-tailed personality.
The same can be said about the characters of Jimmy Bean, played by Graham Montgomery, and Millie Snow, played by Kate Davis. The two young thespieans took to their roles on stage like seasoned veterans, and perhaps gave audience members a glimpse into their own childhood.
Jeff Crowley (Rev. Ford) was an obvious favorite of the audience. This "fire and brimstone" approach to the preacher was very reminiscent of Preachers of old; most of the audience related well to this character. There were times, however, that Crowley seemed to be struggling with his voice, but never the less, audiences left the theatre remembering Crowley's character portrayal.
Jan Reedy (Aunt Polly), did an outstanding job as-well. Her character arc took the audience full circle in the "shoes" of Polly Herrington. From her cold heart driving away the love of Dr. Chilton (Eddie Tinsley) to the thaw it experiences through the power and warmth of love- this seasoned actress fit the bill.
Over all the show was visually appealing, specifically the pierod correct costuming, and a very well staged production. Like any live-theatre production, there we small technical snafus. Actors that were, at times, inaudible would be the only major criticism on the production.
The Academy of Children's Theatre staged an honest and well recieved production of "Pollyanna"; if you didn't see it- you did miss out on a beautiful slice of Americana.