New Albany News

Eastland Performing Arts

More than 100 students will stage The Music Man

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Seven-year-old Kellan Behrens rehearses with music director Gloria Carpenter for the Eastland Performing Arts production of The Music Man April 11-13 at the Reynoldsburg High School theater, 6699 E. Livingston Ave. Kellan, a second-grader who lives in Powell, plays the role of Winthrop Paroo.
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Con man Harold Hill will create "trouble in River City" as the Eastland Performing Arts Program brings the Broadway hit The Music Man to the stage April 11-13 at the Reynoldsburg High School theater, 6699 Livingston Ave. in Reynoldsburg.

Director Doreen Dunn said more than 100 students are involved in the production.

Performances are slated at 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, with a matinee at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13. Tickets cost $9 for adults; $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students.

For advance ticket information, call 614-501-4071 or email Dunn at ddunn@efcts.us.

The box office at the school is open from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays. Tickets also may be purchased at the door with cash or check one hour before each performance.

"We've been madly rehearsing for the past six weeks and are very excited about the production," Dunn said. "This particular musical was chosen because it allows our many talented students to participate in a lot of diverse roles. There are about 21 speaking roles for men and women and the young actors playing these parts are really terrific."

Cast members include Clay Davis as Harold Hill and Erin Chapman as Marian Paroo.

Other cast members include: Sergio Cardenas, Kellan Behrens, Brooklyn Crawford, Demario Crawford, Carolyn Dils, Evan Durkin, Aria Gibson, Brooklyn Grace, C. J. Holan, Jaymi Horn, Sherman Ingram, Heather Keefe, Chance Landers, Kathryn Lee, Grace Mashensic, Kelsey Matthews, Caleb Paxton, Sydney Perkins, Zachary Seaman, Jordan Stinson, Katie Vandergriff and Reina Watson.

Dunn said Behrens is a Powell second-grader; Mashensic is a Reynoldsburg second-grader at St. Pius X School and Aria Gibson is a fifth-grader at Waggoner Road Middle School in Reynoldsburg.

"There are several children's roles in the production and the young actors playing these parts are really terrific," she said. "The Gibsons are almost a family affair, with Aria's brother, Liam, in the children's chorus and her father, Jason, the band director for Reynoldsburg High School, helping to manage the band coordination that is the crux of the whole story."

The Music Man tells the story of con man Harold Hill, who comes to River City in 1912 to encourage parents to purchase instruments and start a boys' marching band. He intends to skip town with the money but his plans go awry when Marian Paroo, the town librarian, catches on to the scheme.

Choreography for the production is by Gale LeVan; vocal direction is by Gloria Carpenter and orchestral direction is by Kathy Vansant.

Costume design is by Donna Williamson and set design is by Corrine Porter.

"Some of the challenges for the actors are executing all the singing and dancing that is required," Dunn said. "There is a great deal of dancing in the show and our choreographer is creating several exciting dance routines.

"The role of Harold Hill is one of the largest in any musical and he is on stage for nearly the entire show," she said. "Clay Davis is doing a superb job in the role and has worked extremely hard perfecting his character. I am confident that he and Erin Chapman, who is playing Marian, will lead the cast with expert and energetic performances -- they are both really gifted actors and singers."

The Eastland Performing Arts Program is based at Reynoldsburg High School, but the career center also draws students from Bexley, Canal Winchester, Gahanna, Groveport, New Albany, Pickerington and Whitehall.

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