The play will be presented Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Sequoyah High School Theatre and features a cast of 55 Cherokee County School District students from grades two to 12 under the direction of Janice Lewis.
Based on Robert Fulghum’s best-selling books, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” the play offers a humorous, insightful and heart-warming look at what is profound in everyday life.
The ensemble play has earned standing ovations worldwide and is now coming to the local stage in Cherokee County to the delight of audiences.
Lewis, who took over as director of the Academy Street Theatre program for the local school system five years ago, says the play offers something for all ages.
“I love these stories, they appeal to everyone, from the little ones to adults,” said Lewis. “These are stories about how those rules that we learn in kindergarten — play fair, don’t steal, hold hands when crossing the street — go all the way through our lives.”
Lewis, who retired in 2006 as director of the Sequoyah High School theatre department after 16 years at its helm, took over the reins of the Academy Street Theatre Group one year later.
She said she chose the play for this year’s June production instead of a big musical to allow students in the school system who want to have more time acting the chance to be on stage before an audience.
“A lot of kids get to act, have lines, and have the chance to be on stage,” Lewis said of this year’s selection. “This ensemble play gives them a chance to use their creativity.
Lewis said the play does not need a lot of sets or elaborate costumes, but instead utilizes a unit set and contemporary dress.
The Academy Street Theatre Group traditional presents two plays each year, the spring production and a Christmas play, which for its 20 years in existence has been “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
“We moved the production to June when I took over because we had a hard time working on the play with all the end-of-year things going on. This way it doesn’t compete with what is going on in the high schools and allows them to participate,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the Academy Street Program offers local students a great opportunity.
This is very unique; I don’t know of another county in the state that has this program and I thank the board of education and the school superintendent for giving our kids a great chance to be on stage.” For those who want to attend this weekend, tickets are $8 at the door and show times are 7:30 p.m. on June 7, 8 and 9.