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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pollyanna Opens Next Weekend

One of the most exciting things about Bossier Arts Council's (BAC) East Bank Theatre is that such a variety of individuals utilize it for their productions.  Opening next weekend (November 2nd) The Academy of Children's Theatre (ACT) will start their season with a production of Pollyanna.  The well loved children's play is based on the novel by Eleanor porter and tells the story of Pollyanna, a missionary child, who becomes an orphan after both her parents die.

I had a moment to sit down and speak with Cynthia Hawkins-Whitaker about the production after their rehearsal this afternoon.  (I must say I was pretty impressed by what I saw before the interview).

BAC:  Why did you select Pollyanna to be your season opener?

WHITAKER:  Pollyanna is the 5th production in our Children's Literary Series.  In the past five years we've put on a variety of productions based on classic youth novels including, but not limited too, The Diary of Anne Frank, Little Princess, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

BAC: Can you tell us a little more about your Children's Literary Series?

WHITAKER:  The goal is to introduce a modern audience to children's classics.  The production was made popular by a very famous Disney movie from the 1960s but younger individuals are less familiar with it.  We hope to encourage our audience to learn more about these classics through an approachable manner.

BAC: Do you think choosing literary classics influence your actors?

WHITAKER:  Yes, I do.  Many of the kids read the novel to get ready for auditions or to learn more about their specific characters.

BAC: What do you think the central message is in Pollyanna?

WHITAKER:  I think it's a simple one.  Always find the good in every situation.  I think that's a message that everyone needs to hear, particularly now.

BAC: Why do you work with children in Theatre?

WHITAKER:  I worked in Los Angles for the longest time as an equity actor.  Then I decided to go back to school for education.  I think mostly because I wanted to give back to all the teachers who influenced me.

BAC: What is one reason why people should come see this production?

WHITAKER:  It is a great family show.  Also it's an obscure piece in the fact that it features period costumes, sets, and props.

If you are interested in catching a performance of Pollyanna be sure to get your tickets while some are still available.  The production runs November 2nd & 3rd at 7pm, November 4th at 2pm and the November 9th & 10th at 7pm, and ends on November 11th at 2pm.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 318-741-8310 Tuesday-Friday from 11am-6pm.  For more information about the Academy of Children's Theatre you can visit their website.

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