IN REHEARSAL

Rehearsing a scne from And a Child Shall Lead are, from left, Sumner Erickson, Elijah Sylvester, Neil Peterson, Vincent Whitford, Jolene Whitford and Alexandra Perrot.

EAST TAWAS – WE Players, Inc. will present its youth production of And a Child Shall Lead, on Nov. 1-3 and 8-10 in at the former Tawas Area Middle School in Tawas City.

Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Nov. 1-2 and 8-9 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 2 and 10. Those planning to attend are asked to use the entrance closest to the soccer fields. WE Players, Inc. is not using the gymnasium for the production and instead is using the previous library room. The performance is in a black box setting which allows for a more intimate theatre experience. 

Tickets will be available for purchase one hour before the show at the door. Adult tickets are $10. Student tickets are $7.

Written by Michael Slade and produced with special arrangements by Playscripts, according to the play’s synopsis this is the heroic and true story of the children coming of age in Terezin, the “Jewish City” established by the Nazis near Prague as a way station before the death camps. 

In the face of unspeakable horror, these children use their determination and creativity to build lives filled with hope and beauty—playing, studying, making art, and writing an underground newspaper—all at the peril of being executed. Their actual poems and stories are woven into a fast-paced drama, evoking the universality of children caught in the insanity of war. 

According to Suzan Nemeth, the show’s director, although the subject matter is serious, the following description by Ned Donovan gives prospective audience members a taste of the true flavor of the production. “It’s not about the inhumane treatment of humanity by the Nazis, we’ve seen those plays, they are in heavy abundance. What this play is about, is how can a child grow up in that environment, how fast do they grow up, and are they forced into an adulthood before they are ever really children?  That story, is new, it is riveting, and it is utterly, utterly heartbreaking.”  

The cast and crew, listed below, consists of youth from seven to 18 years of age and have been rehearsing since September.

“While working on this production, we have discussed creative and healthy ways to deal with stress of our everyday lives; how to appreciate all the gifts in life that are often taken for granted. Jen Busch from Tawaste recently joined us for an evening,”  Nemeth said. “She taught the students and parents about meditation, breathing and focus.”

Tina Dalton is the assistant director. Cast and crew list by alphabetical order are Sarah Baker is cast as Rachel Blum and Gabriela Winterova, Audrey Elizabeth Brock is the stage manager, Sara Erickson is cast as Little Sara Redlich, Sumner Erickson is cast as Jana Hellerova, Sophie Fox is cast as Mazel Slein and Jillian Elizabeth, Kay Howey is cast as Gabriela Winterova and Leah Pykova, Abby Kloska is cast as Ada Hochberg and Alena Lederova, Betsy Lahey is the assistant stage manager, McKenzie Leet is the rehearsal tech and sound operator, Alexandra Perrot is cast as  Eva Hellerova, Neil Peterson  is cast as Miroslav Weiss, Nick Serda is cast as Seth Stein and Martin Lowy, Kenna Shay Seyfried is cast as Rachel Blum (week 2), Quinn Seyfried is cast as Frena Weinberg (week 2), Addison Emmalee Street is cast as Alena Lederova and Ada Hochberg, Gavin Swartz-Barnes is the projections designer, Elijah Sylvester is cast as Pavel Hoffman, Joleen Whitford is cast as Frena Weinberg and Ruth Hans, Xander Whitford is cast as Martin Lowry and Seth Stein and Vincent Whitford is cast as Eric Kosek.For more information, to become a member or sponsor or get involved, contact Nemeth at 820-5257.