The following is an edited news release from Oconee Youth Playhouse:
will present the new musical "Freckleface Strawberry", based on the best-selling books by celebrated actress Julianne Moore, Aug. 3-5 at the .
“We were very excited to secure rights to this show, which has just played off-Broadway. It’s very entertaining and has great music,” said Shane Hannon He directs the production with his wife, Terra, and co-director Kelly Ozust.
“For this particular show, we have middle school and elementary-age kids in featured roles, which has been fun. Even though they’re young, they have lots of talent," Hannon said.
Gracin Wilkins, a rising 6th grader at , has the title role of Freckleface Strawberry, who struggles to deal with her freckles but ultimately learns to love the skin she’s in.
Playing Freckleface Strawberry’s friends are Claire Vogel, a rising 7th grader at ; Ivey Meeks, a rising 5th grader at ; and Anna Sennowitz, a rising 6th grader at .
Boys in featured roles in the cast – some of whom are making their OYP debut – include Jeremiah Smith, a rising 6th grader at Westminster Christian Academy; Grayson Bellune, a rising 9th grader at ; John Hovell, a rising 7th grader at Malcom Bridge Middle School; Patrick Gattiker, a rising 5th grader at Colham Ferry Elementary School, and Simon Beckham, a rising 9th grader at .
Bailey Chastain, a rising 9th grader at North Oconee High School; Merritt Dismuke, a rising 8th grader at ; and Sydney Goodstone, a rising 8th grader at Athens Academy, will be seen as Frankie, Freda and Francine Freckle. Ivy Hitchcock, a homeschooled 9th grader, plays Strawberry’s mom, while Maya Vagle, a rising 7th grader, plays the teacher.
Maya and her family are moving to Minnesota, so this is her last OYP show.
“We are really sad to be leaving OYP,” says her dad, Mark Vagle, who has been a faculty member at the University of Georgia and also has appeared in OYP shows and helped with set construction. “Being able to participate in such high-quality productions and to be able to do so with my daughter has created memories I will forever cherish.”
"Freckleface Strawberry" shows are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16 adults, $14 students and seniors, and $12 for age 12 and under and can be purchased in the lobby of the Civic Center starting one hour before each show.