The biggest surprise during the production of the “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is how the workshop got back on schedule, Director Zachary Rice said.
The Regional Theatre of the Palouse will present the Family Weekend Theater workshop rendition of the Mark Twain novel as its final show of the season on Saturday and Sunday. The workshop features children ages six to thirteen.
“I’m getting gradually more demanding with my ensemble and demanding more physicality,” said Rice, a junior performing arts major at WSU.
He said he hopes the parents see their children flourishing in the artistic environment. To aid this, returning children have been given additional responsibilities, he said.
The show will have a lot of dialogue, but will be light and conversational, he said.
“Even though not every role may have very many lines, I’m using the entire ensemble as a living environment,” Rice said.
Musical Director Tina McClure said she loves the wide age range of the show.
McClure said she and Rice have placed a great emphasis on the show and the progression of the children involved. The children’s growth on stage has been the best part of the process, she said.
“The kids have a lot of time on stage and it may not be that they will all have lines, but they all are doing something,” McClure said.
In the beginning, some of the children were shy and did not participate for several days, McClure said.
However, the experienced students helped the younger peers overcome their fears, she said.
The “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” will feature live music from the ensemble of children and will include piano music for the soundtrack.
In previous productions the theater has recorded soundtracks before the workshops, but Rice said the live music will give the show a vaudeville style.
Rice said he feels the experience has challenged him in new ways such as making final decisions on casting, costumes and set designs.