Frenchtown Students Take Stage In "Willy Wonka KIDS" This Weekend
More than 100 students are involved, and parents - including director Bethany Verrett - have stepped up to make it happen.
When elementary school play director Valerie Myette stepped down last year, that left both Meadowbrook and Frenchtown without a director. Meadowbrook decided to team up with Hanaford to put on a play. Meanwhile, at Frenchtown, parents have stepped up to fill the void.
Bethany Verret, parent of a second grader, is directing "Willy Wonka KIDS," which opens tomorrow night. The play is an adaptation of Roald Dahl's popular book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Auditions were held in mid-September and it was the largest turnout for auditions to date for Frenchtown. Rehearsals have been once or twice a week, depending on the role.
Verrett said her experience with theater has generally been on the other side of the stage, growing up acting in everything she could get into from the ages of 3 to 23. When the opportunity arose to direct the play at Frenchtown, she said she was excited to relive a part of her childhood that brought her so much joy.
The paid position requires hours of work planning, choreographing, and rehearing. Several parents are also helping out at rehearsals. With more than 100 kids are participating this year, the aid is needed.
"Being a part of a play is such a bonding experience for everyone involved and long lasting friendships can be made," said Verrett. She said rehearsing and performing gives the kids a boost of self confidence that will help them later in life.
"I have really enjoyed working with the kids and I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve been able to accomplish. The whole experience has been a real treat for me," said Verrett.
The play will be performed twice: Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Both shows are at EG High School and the cost is $5 per person. The attached video shows a sneak peek of the show from their rehearsal. Verret said they are hoping for a nice turnout this weekend.
The play is being funded, including a stipend for Verret, by the Frenchtown PTG.
Rick Saborio, teacher at Eldredge, will be directing the Meadowbrook-Hanaford production this spring. Parents Kristen DePetro and Heather Cianciolo will be assisting him. Eldredge hired director Kathi Curtis, an East Greenwich resident with theater background, to put on their play this coming May.