Amid a summer flush with storms limited the time for outdoor play, kids might be excused for daydreaming that rainy weather would lead to something exciting— like superpowers.
That’s what happens to 10-year-old Violet, the main character in “Miss Electricity,” a play by Kathryn Walat.
Carroll Community College will put on three performances of the show in the Scott Center Theater, located in the T Building, Sept. 15 at 2 and 4 p.m. and Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.
According to the show's synopsis, Violet sets out to break a world record, “but becomes accidentally extraordinary when she’s struck by lightning — twice— and gains control over all things electric. Under the name Miss Electricity, Violet zaps her way through circuits, bullies, and tests, but could lose everything when the power goes to her head.”
Director Jane Frazier said friendship is one of the most important themes of the show, which was written for children around third through fifth grade age. Violet is hungry to prove to others that she is special and important, and her friend Freddy sees her through the journey of realizing her own worth.
“One of the reasons why we do [children’s shows] ... is an outreach,” said Frazier who serves as the Director of Theatre and Entertainment Technology at the college.
“Being exposed to the arts ... is really vital to someone becoming a whole person,” she said.
“It’s less [cost] than taking your kid to a movie. And I think it’s better,” she added with a laugh. “You get to breathe the same air that the actors are breathing.”
After several years working in children’s theater, she said the key to performing for younger audiences is that “the gestures have to be big and bold. The actors' energy level is very different.”
And for the college students in the cast, performing for a younger audience will teach them to “be ready for anything,” a valuable skill whether they want to pursue professional children’s theater or any genre of live performance.
The shows will include interactive elements. Younger audiences tend to be less inhibited, Frazier said, and actors will learn "staying the course and listing to your audience,” when children might respond in a way that’s unexpected.
The reward is a vibrant exchange of energy between the actors and the audience.
“For kids, it's like they’re right there and they're very in tune with what's happening,” she said.
Those that cannot make the Scott Center shows may be able to catch “Miss Electricity” as the cast tours to libraries and schools in the county later in the semester. Parents should check library event listings for show dates.
“We have fun with it,” Frazier said. “It's a very welcoming environment.”
A list of upcoming Carroll Community College Theatre events is available at www.carrollcc.edu/About/On-Campus/Arts-and-Events/.