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'Red Riding Hood' opens season of ECTC youth program

Tony Simmons
The News Herald

MIRAMAR BEACH — Audiences might be forgiven if Red Riding Hood were to exclaim, "My, what a big mask you have!"

That's because the opening production of Emerald Coast Theatre Co.'s 2020-21 season in its Theatre for Young Audiences program, "Red Riding Hood," is promising to be COVID-19 conscious.

Grant Oberle and Tara Padgett star in "Red Riding Hood," a Theatre for Young Audiences production from Emerald Coast Theatre Co. in Miramar Beach.
Emerald Coast Theatre Co. opens its new season of Theatre for Young Audiences with "Red Riding Hood."

“Given the extraordinary times we are all experiencing, we are especially honored to launch a thrilling season roster filled with exciting new program offerings for theater lovers of all ages,” said ECTC co-founder and producing artistic director Nathanael Fisher. “We are implementing our Safety Protocol Plan in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure our patrons can enjoy all of our offerings in a safe environment.”

ECTC’s professional Theatre for Young Audiences program showcases professional actors performing productions on ECTC’s Main Stage especially selected for young audience members.

Rehearsals started earlier this month for this music-filled take on the classic story, which stars ECTC teaching artist Tara Padgett as "Bridget" and Grant Oberle as "Stephen." Fisher directs the show, with set and lighting design by Rebeca Lake; costume and prop design by Anna Fisher; stage management and sound design by Phillip Padgett; and music direction by Peter Lake.

Fisher said he and the rest of the crew and cast were excited to "safely welcome" patrons back to the theater.

"This musical adaptation of 'Red Riding Hood' is sure to delight audiences of all ages," Fisher added. "The music in particular is truly exceptional.“ 

Bridget and Stephen are on a sleepover at grandma’s house, but neither of them can sleep. Bridget finds a red cloak in the wardrobe and their imaginations soar as they act out their favorite story with props and costumes discovered around the attic. The tale blurs reality and imagination, and soon the children find themselves in the deep dark woods with a hungry wolf tracking them.

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More:Emerald Coast Theatre stages seventh professional season

Shows are at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 and 26, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 and 27. Ticket prices are: $12 for children ages 4-12; $16 for seniors age 65 and older or military with I.D.; and $18 for adults. Performances will be upstairs at 560 Grand Blvd., in the Grand Boulevard shopping center at Miramar Beach.

For more details, visit the website EmeraldCoastTheatre.org, call 850-684-0323, or email info@emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

ECTC's season of Theatre for Young Audiences will also include:

"Dot and Ziggy": 9 a.m. on Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31; intended for the very young (ages 6 months to 5 years). Spend a fun and interactive morning with a delightful skunk and ladybug duo. Children may experience this hands-on show with all their senses as they become part of the story. This colorful play uses music, dance, movement and touchable props to envelop young audience members and inspire imagination. Running time is 40 minutes.

"The Rainbow Fish": 9 a.m. on March 26 and 27, and April 2 and 3, 2021; intended for the very young (ages 6 months to 5 years). Sharing makes you shiny in this beautiful children’s classic. Children may experience movement, song, color and hands-on sensory opportunities as they become part of the story with the actors. Running time is 60 minutes.

"Treasure Island": 7:30 p.m. May 14-16, and 2 p.m. May 17, 2021. With the feared black spot, a dead Billy Bones, and a treasure map to Captain Flint's gold, stow away on the Hispaniola with Long John Silver and the crew as they hunt for hidden treasure on a remote Island. Our young hero Emily finds mutiny, treason and double dealings around every corner in this reinvented classic tale.

Emerald Coast Theatre Co. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2012 by husband and wife Nathanael and Anna Fisher. Its mission is to enrich and entertain the community through professional and educational theater.

ECTC operates year-round. Educational outreach includes after-school and home-school programs, touring and staged productions, summer camps, workshops and classes. The professional theater efforts are focused on thought-provoking productions, festivals and collaborations, as well as acting and improv workshops and classes for adults.