Is love different in the harsh light of day, than in the soft and sweet moonlight? Can young love be separated by a wall? Or by the manipulations of fathers? This July at 2nd Street Theater in Bend, BEAT Children’s Theatre will present its first production of the long running classic, The Fantasticks. BEAT is proud to be part of the tradition of the 42 years of productions that have made The Fantasticks the longest running musical ever, not to mention one of the most beloved. Music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones, this play has delighted audiences the world over since it began its off-Broadway run in 1960.
Theatre history is an important part of a good theatre education, and with this production of The Fantasticks, Director Jimena Shepherd and Musical Director Jonathan Shepherd are bringing a classic experience to the actors of BEAT.
Of the show itself Jimena says, “The Fantasticks is magical simplicity. It is a fable about coming of age that doesn’t require elaborate sets and costumes, because the theatrical fancy already exists in the heart and imagination of every single audience member. For that reason, I wanted to bring the production back to Bend and back to the young actors who are just now beginning to create their own
The Shepherds have created a BEAT Bootcamp wherein the actors—all experienced teenage performers—are being challenged with a high level of expectation for character development, musical excellence and performance preparation. Director and BEAT Bootcamp creator Jimena Shepherd explains, “For BEAT’s first Bootcamp experience, we went about the rehearsal process a very different way. Our focus was not on the show, but the actors. We addressed each actors’ strengths and weaknesses, and challenged them in a positive learning environment, to grow into skilled artists, not just high energy performers.”
The Fantasticks is a small cast production (only eight actors) allowing for more focus and concentration on the development of each actor’s skills. Unlike other BEAT productions, this was an Audition Only opportunity, requiring the actors to compete for and earn the chance to participate. The resulting cast is dedicated, talented and their final work will charm and
The Fantasticks will be familiar to audiences of many different generations. Some of the musical numbers have become popular favorites on and off the stage, such as Try to Remember. A small, live band will provide the music through which the story will unfold. The themes of foiled love, self-discovery and redemption are timeless and will resonate with all who see this lovely production. Choreography by Mary Kilpatrick (a BEAT Founder), costumes by Maia Denzler and sets by Gary Loddo will provide a magical, fantastical setting for this beautiful story told by an amazing cast.
Performances begin Friday, July 14 at 2nd Street Theater.
www.tickettales.comThe Fantasticks, BEAT Children’s Theatre