A new youth theater program has begun at the New Britain YWCA. The YWCA Youth Theater formed in May and will be putting on Mary Poppins Jr. at Trinity on Main Friday June 29 at 7 p.m. and Saturday June 30 at 2 p.m.
Christine Kuzia, YWCA Performing Arts Director, said Katie Desjardins, director, is the brainchild of the program.
“It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time here at the Y,” said Kuzia. “Katie and I came together years ago as she was one of my students. I was choreographing for her at McGee Middle School in Berlin. She asked if I wanted to venture out and try something.”
The group is starting small with only two performances and hopes to grow to more performances in the future.
So far there are 24 kids in the cast from New Britain, Berlin and Bristol. Ages are 10-15 years old. Grades 5-9.
The Cast consists of: Andrew Bassett, Andrew Black, Nicola Campisano, Alison Cavanagh, Samantha Centurelli, Haley Cohen, Elora Cordero, Lucas Courtemanche, Jamison Evans, Abigail Ferland, Sophia Graca, Davia Garewski, Charlie Hartel, Emily Kobus, Ryan Krupa, Cameron Malcarne, Ryan McGowan, Lucia Corsetti-Morisse, Laura Munch, Brianna Robertson, Emily Roche, Laura Sarrazin, Julia Stewart and Jameson Urrunaga.
Desjardins is the marketing and graphic designer at the Goodspeed Opera House and a drama director part-time at McGee Middle School.
“This is the first one at the Y. I just wanted to start things up outside of school,” said Desjardins. “Most cast members are playing multiple roles. All have to learn to sing and dance and act. They all get to do a lot in this show and that is really great.”
Desjardins said she chose Mary Poppins Jr. because she loves the show and the junior version just came out in the fall last year.
“I wanted to get our hands on it,” said Desjardins. “A lot of the kids know me through Mcgee and some are part of the YWCA.”
Desjardins first did musicals in school during her youth and has continued to do it.
“It helps kids get confidence,” Desjardins said. “We will see how this one goes and we hope to make it a yearly thing.”
Matt Greco, music director, takes the children in another room to work with them on the songs. He is a church music director in New Jersey.
“I knew Katie from year’s past,” said Greco. “It has been a great privilege to work with these kids. They are super talented and I can’t wait to see the final product. It is going well so far. It is amazing how fast they learn.”
Those wishing to participate in the next production must go to rehearsals on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost to participate is $150 per person due at the time of registration.
Tickets are $10 in advance at the front desk of the YWCA or are $12 at the door.