Creativity of children

Take a trip to Middle Earth with Area Children’s Theater

Gollum slinks around the stage at last week’s production of “The Hobbit” at the Capitol Theatre. Gollum (Devon Martin) will return in the Area Children’s Theatre production this week.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Gollum slinks around the stage at last week’s production of “The Hobbit” at the Capitol Theatre. Gollum (Devon Martin) will return in the Area Children’s Theatre production this week.

Craig Taylor Brown says he can’t help be impressed with the talent he has performing in the Area Children’s Theater production of “The Hobbit” at the Capitol Theatre.

“What I’m real impressed with is that they get more creative with each performance,” he said of the child actors in ACT. “I don’t know if it is because they are observing other kids, or if they are getting get bolder, but I really think people are going to be impressed with the caliber and quality of this production of children’s theater. People think of kids’ theater. and they think of cheap sets and cheap costumes.”

Brown said Karen Topor served as costume designer for the production, and she broke the mold on what the actors wear. “She’s amazing. The costumes look authentic,” Brown said.

“The Hobbit” was brought to life last weekend and will continue this weekend with 77 members of ACT. There are four shows left, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30. Admission is $10 for guests 13 and older, and $5 for those 12 and younger.

Brown was pleased with response to the first weekend of shows and is anticipating larger crowds for this weekend’s dates.

“Friday night we had our largest crowd with 110 people, and it has been averaging between 80 and 100 ever since,” he said. “I think it was a good show. The parents are happy, and the kids are having a blast. I’d like to fill the Capitol for the last four performances.

“These kids worked really hard. This is a long play that is very difficult and has lot of lines in it. They deserve to have a good audience.”

Brown said ACT used minimally built sets for the production. “The difference with our play is our sets are projected images on the backgrounds,” he said. “People say they can’t believe we painted it, but it is a combination of projected images, lights and smoke. This is the first time I’ve used projected images, and I think it was neat.”

ACT strives to offer affordable, high quality theatrical experiences in Blount and Sevier counties for elementary and middle school age children and their family and friends. Performances are produced and directed by Brown.

Brown can be reached by email at act@areachildrenstheatre.com or by phone at 865-250-8090.

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