MCAC Casting Calls for Children

“I like it because I love to sing,” said Penelope Rushing, 9.

Rushing played a sea creature in last week’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” production at the Montgomery County Performance Center. She loves to sing and she and over 35 other children from throughout the Montgomery County area were given an opportunity to “shine” on stage, while learning basic acting techniques as part of the summer workshop.

But most of all, the children had fun while expanding their arts education and/or training during the summer months. This was an all-children play sponsored by the Montgomery County Arts Council. While all theatre productions have roles for children, last week’s play had no roles for adults on stage – though plenty of opportunities for adults behind stage.

Dr. Reba Bailey, one of the directors of The Little Mermaid Jr., said she is a big believer in children participating in community theatre.

“Children’s theatre is very important to me,” Bailey said. “Theatre boosts self-confidence and it gives them the skills in which to do plays at school or church. Theatre helps children learn memorization skills that are helpful when learning poems and studying for tests. As they grow up, their theatre skills can get them a scholarship to college and it can help them have self-confidence in things like job interviews and business presentations.”

Paula McCaulla of the Montgomery County Arts Council said participating in theatre is one of the most rewarding experiences a young person can have.

“Children are provided with many developmental opportunities (when they are part of community theatre),” McCaulla said.

McCaulla said a musical brings together all of the Arts on one comprehensive program. She said music and dance introduce basic performing arts; the design and creation of sets, costumes and props integrate the visual arts; rehearsing and performing dialogue develop language skills; integrating sound and lighting explore the use of technology.

“In a musical, everyone’s contribution is important,” McCaulla said. “Everyone must work together, encouraging collaboration and community. Children learn the importance of listening and waiting one’s turn. They take positive risks and conquer fears while building self-confidence.  Assessment is instantaneous in the applause at the end of the performance. “

McCaulla said the best part is “this is a lot of fun for everyone involved.”

“Reba and Vanessa have worked very hard for the last two weeks,” McCaulla said. “The rest of the staff has worked countless hours on sets, costumes and props. They deserve accolades!”

Staff members include: Producer: Paula McCaulla; Directors: Dr. Reba Bailey and Vanessa Miller; Stage Manager: Cristina Russell; choreographers: Neely Prudhomme and Natalie Rosamond; lighting: Dr. Steve Bailey; Props: Tammy Pearson; sets: Stevie Myers; costumes: Phylis Minga; set assistants: Memory Nicholas, Nathan Robbins, Bethany Robbins, Abby Robbins, Jeremy Saffodold; Jerell Saffold and Dana Claire Chambless; staff assistants: Kerri Hayes, Lee Ann Martin; Adrienne Vance and Angie Clark.

Cast members for the recent “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” include: Corbett Vance as the Pilot; Noah Roy, Zachery Cook, Zachary Randall, Colton Cook, Ben Rosamond, Alejandro White, Praylenn Phillips, Zacharias Jones and Ja’von Phillips as sailors; Max Bailey as Prince Eric; Trey Metcalf as Grimsby; Sea Creatures were .Zoey Allen, Zachary Randall, Colton Cook, Lauren Roy, Penelope Rushing, Harley Rushing, Onya Rushing, Ben Rosamond, Dra’yah Phillips, Alejandro White, Ashton Washington, Addie Wade, Braylen Phillips, Zacharias Jones, Chasity Washington and Ja’Vion Phillips;  Jelly Fish was played by Kimorah Williams and Chasity Washington; King Triton was played by Jordon Leech; Sebastian was played by John Goodson; Aquata was played by Ariella Jones; Andrina was played by Sara Martin; Arista was played by Emma Gray; Atina was played by Eden Leech and Madeleine Stuvee;  Adella was played by Alaina Masterson and Olivia Swindle; Allana was played by Chloe Metcalf;  Ariel was played by Natalie Rosamond;  Flounder was played by Thomas Rosamond;  Scuttle was played by Munjoyt Singh; the Gulls were Alaina Masterson, Madeleine Stuvee Emma Gray and Eden Leech; Ursula was played by Cristina Seals;  Flotsam was played by Ethan Bailey; Jetsamwas played by James Hayes; Carlotta was played by Eden Leech; Chef Louis was played by Corbett Vance; the  Chefs were also Noah Roy, Zachery Cook, Zachary Randall, Colton Cook, Ben Rosamond, Alejandro White, Ja’Vion Phillips, Ashton Washington, Braylen Phillips and  Zacharias Jones; and The  Princesses were played by Olivia Swindle, Ariella Jones and Emma Gray.

This children’s theatre workshop and production of “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” was sponsored in part by grants from Atmos Energy and Entergy. Other generous donors and supporters includes: Judge Larry Bamburg, Marsha Flynn, Drs. Reba and Steve Bailey, Lori Latham, Bootsie Weed, Kathleen Clark, David Chambers, Vince and Ann Sia at Pizza Inn, Dixie Roofing, Express Grain Terminals, The Winona Times and Muno’s Stop and Go.

The Montgomery Arts Council was the executive producer of this show. For more information about your children can be part of community theatre, contact the Arts Council at  (662) 283-3750 or (662) 310-019.


See this story was featured in the July 6, 2017 edition of The Winona Times.

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