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Youth Take Center Stage This Weekend

Last summer, my husband and I took Zee to her first-ever play. Sitting outside, watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a squirmy, but interested, tot made me realize how lucky I was to be able to take my child to the theater. I hope she enjoys the dramatic arts as much as I did as a kid.

It will be years before I get to see Zee in a performance, but parents on the Monterey Coast are lucky to have two youth theater companies on opposite ends of the bay – both of which have performances this month.

Pacific Repertory’s School of Dramatic Arts (SoDA), in Carmel-by-the Sea, is bringing the Disney version of  The Jungle Book to life through March 21. Based on the story by Rudyard Kipling, the musical tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves who joins a bear and a panther to thwart the tiger Shere Khan. The show, directed by Maryann Rousseau, stars more than 50 kids singing classic tunes including “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’na Be Like You.” It’s a wonderful first show for kids, though some little ones may find the tiger scary.

Pacific Repertory is Monterey County’s only professional theater company. SoDA offers classes for all ages, from babies to adults, on topics ranging from stage combat and acting to playwriting and radio dramas. Class prices range from $240 to $480.

In Santa Cruz, Kids on Broadway presents Peter Pan from March 26 to April 3. The musical about the boy who never grew up features songs like “Never Never Land” and “I Won’t Grow Up.” Little kids might be scared of Captain Hook, so make sure your child is okay with pirates.

Unique in its insistence on parent-participation, Kids on Broadway takes young people through the rehearsal and performance process musical by musical. Tuition varies from show to show, but are generally runs $550 and $625.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Disney’s The Jungle Book
WHEN: Through March 21. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
WHERE:
Golden Bough Theatre, Monte Verde Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, Carmel-by-the-Sea
COST: $7 – $20
AGE RANGE: All ages
MORE INFORMATION: www.pacrep.org

WHAT: Peter Pan
WHEN: March 26 to April 3. 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 & 7 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. Sunday. Special show Thursday, April 1, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz
COST: $10 – $20
AGE RANGE: All ages, but beware of pirates
MORE INFORMATION: www.kidsonbroadway.org

Illustration Courtesy of Kids on Broadway.

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