Children’s Theater set to debut Hansel and Gretel in Schweinfurth

Popular production slated for area schools October 14, 15


Julika Balzer, Staff

On August 24, 2021, MV’s Children Theater started rehearsals for this year’s production of Hansel and Gretel in Schweinfurth Theater. Director Ms. Raquel Maxey, Co-Director Mrs. Mary Beth Mezo and cast member Ava Barker, ’22,  recently shared some insights on the production and next steps.

Focusing on the feeling of producing a play in difficult times like this, Ms. Maxey stated ”It’s pretty daunting.”

Ms. Maxey, Mrs. Mezo, and Ava Barker, ’22, all agreed on the point that producing a show right now requires a lot more.

”Luckily, we have a great group of actors and production staff members who are going above and beyond the call of duty to pull this show off,” Ms. Maxey stated.

The production of Hansel and Gretel  has already been affected by wearing masks and maintaining three feet of social distancing.

Mrs. Mezo talked about the 2021 production of The Addams Family where they even had to stay six feet apart. The show was filmed and the auditions were virtual via video.

Having this special situation brought some positive decisions with it, like having single auditions.

“In all this we try to find our silver linings and stay positive,” Mrs. Mezo added.

“We have to be more conscious of all the protocols,” added Barker.

“We will perform for Kindergarten-4th graders on October 14 and 15 during the school day,” commented Ms. Maxey.

Four shows during the production run are for Kindergarten and elementary schools.

”They come from over 25 places,” said Mrs. Mezo.

Two other shows are for adults, friends and families. Until the show goes up, there are daily rehearsals.

How does Ms. Maxey feel about her first year of being the Director?  She said it felt great.

“I love it! Our students make me feel like it’s what I am meant to do, and we have had a blast so far,” Ms. Maxey stated.  “Fingers crossed that it will be a success!”

Barker has already performed in multiple shows and knows about the differences from then and now.

“This year is very different than my other years in theater. It is harder to interact with people and we don’t always have an audience but we are doing our best!” Barker added.

Even if the situation with COVID doesn’t look perfect, everybody is staying positive and doing their best.

Mrs.  Mezo also knows about the difficulties this year, since she has been the director for the last few years. This year, Ms. Maxey took over the place as the lead-director.

Mrs. Mezo described that she had been looking for a new director for awhile, and someone who would be on the school campus almost all the time.

She retired full time teaching in 2013 which made it complicated being in school that often.  And with Ms. Maxey, she found the ideal person to take over.

Mrs. Mezo added that she will always be there for support and help whenever there is a problem.

About where and how the show will be performed, Mrs. Mezo said that the show will be performed in MV Schweinfurth Theater. The day- time shows will have seating charts and busses will bring the grade school children to MV.

The whole show is also very carefully timed for the kids. Actors are starting their make-up at 7 am, and for the evening shows, they are able to go home, but have to be back on time to redo their make-up.

This year’s show is not only different, there is also a complete new cast.

“Everyone is working together to put together a great show because we all want this so bad,” Barker stated.

Ms.  Maxey maintained an optimistic outlook about Hansel and Gretel.

”We are so lucky to have amazing seniors who are great teachers and motivators. They’ve led the group this year in encouraging, inspiring ways.”

“They get along beautifully with each other,” commented Mrs. Mezo.

“I can’t wait to have a real, live performance … we hope” quipped Ms. Maxey.