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Performers learn new skills for Jack and the Beanstalk
Published 6/26/2013 6:00:00 AM
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Grab a torch and pitchfork; a giant is coming to the Palouse.

A magic harp, talking hen and powerful bean are all on their way as well.

Thursday, June 27 marks the opening night of Jack and the Beanstalk, performed at the University of Idaho’s Hartung Outdoor Theater. The musical performance will be put on by the Idaho Repertory Theatre, UI’s Theatre Arts group.

Senior theater major Cory Williamson plays the role of the giant. He claims he struggles with singing and acting simultaneously, but said he enjoys how the show pushes his personal boundaries.

"It’s kind of nice to be in this kids’ show and just have fun doing it," he said. "There’s not too much pressure."

Williamson said he is excited to be performing for children, and expects the audience to create a unique dynamic.

"Kids kind of do their own thing, and we have to work with that," Williamson said. "We can rehearse all day, but when the kids come in front of us, we have to keep them entertained."

Junior theater major Ilsa Rose-Witt echoes Williamson’s statements, and said she likes how much fun the experience is.

"A lot of time when you’re in theater, people get caught up in high acting and drama," she said. "With this one, it’s just about getting back to the fun of it. Everyone on the stage is having a blast."

Rose-Witt stars as Jack, and said this is her first real lead role. She said it is challenging to perfectly portray the playfulness of a child.

"It’s nerve-racking," Rose-Witt said. "It’s hard to relate back to being ten or eleven years old without acting like a two-year-old."

Director Zac Curtis believes the show will go well. He praised the cast for their teamwork, saying it is vital to the show’s success.

"This is a fantastic cast," Curtis said. "They’re very professional, high-energy and willing to just give absolutely anything for their characters."

Curtis said that rehearsals have been smooth, but did point out certain challenges which the cast may face. He said the outdoor setup will be different than some performers are accustomed to.

"There’s no walls for the sound to bounce off of," Curtis said. "Kids will be running around and playing. There are a lot of distractions. It’s our goal, our job, to keep the audience focused."

Curtis explained that due to strong funding, Idaho Repertory Theatre is able to provide quality costumes and props. He said the show will feel like a true professional experience.

Performances are at 6:30 p.m. on June 27 -29, as well as July 3.There will also be shows at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. on June 30. Tickets can be purchased on the Idaho Repertory Theatre’s website.

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