BY SARA HELM
Sept. 6 was an important day for Encore’s Young Stars. For about three months, the cast of Madagascar Jr. worked extremely hard learning dances, music, and lines to present an amazing show crowds will remember for years to come. On this day, their hard work would finally be worth it.
The first weekend of shows was a success. The show’s opening night was full of zest and pure excitement as the curtains lifted. The cast’s energy sustained throughout two weekends, performing large group numbers including “Paradise,”, “Together Forever,”, and “Move it, Move it.” Each number was equally as captivating as the previous, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats each night.
For some cast members, this was their first time experiencing the adrenaline rush that is theatre. For others, this thrill was nothing new, but it was their first time experiencing it with Encore Theatrical Company. Lexi Light, a home schooled cast member, described her first experience, stating, “This isn’t my first show, but it is my first show with Encore. The people in this show are truly amazing. I’ve never been in a show where even if you’re only a small role so many people make you feel important.” Lexi is also planning on auditioning for more shows in the future with Encore.
Lexi is not the only cast member who intends on auditioning for more Encore shows. Emerson Meek, a student who played the role of Mort says, “I’ve loved Madagascar Jr. and acting itself, so I will be auditioning for Oliver.”
Director Faith Rader gave opinions on directing a Young Stars show. Faith shared her opinion on the most rewarding part about directing. She proclaimed, “I like watching the cast draw reactions from the audience I never would’ve expected.” She also goes on to say that she and the show’s choreographer, James Templin, had similar visions for Madagascar Jr, saying, “We were somehow on the same wavelength about things.”
Overall, the cast and crew agree that Madagascar Jr. has been a rewarding experience altogether for the actors and audience alike. The cast members had such an amazing time throughout the show that most of them are planning on auditioning for Encore’s next show Oliver. Auditions for Oliver will be taking place on Sept. 22 and 23 at Walter State Community College. People of all ages are encouraged to audition! More information is available at etcplays.org or Encore Theatrical's Facebook page.