Tuesday, July 7, 2009


July 2009

Included in this issue:
- Tickets On Sale Today for:“The Swiss Family
Robinson: Amazon Adventure”

- 2009 Production Calendar Dates Set

- Summer Workshop for Teens Scheduled for July;
Fall Classes Resume in September

- Cast Announced for “Disney’s Alice In Wonderland,
Jr.: The Musical”

- Audition Dates Set for “The Canterville Ghost”

- CTK Announces Partnership with Tanasi Girl Scouts
Council to Produce Cheri Bennett’s “Zink” in January

- CTK Wins Fox 43’s Best Theatre Group Award;
Named Runner-Up in Best of MetroPulse

- New Location Hosts Over 1,000 Audience
Members for “Charlotte’s Web”; Facility
Improvements Underway


Tickets are on sale today for CTK’s most unique production yet: “The Swiss Family Robinson: Amazon Adventure.“ Josh Beach’s eye-popping set design includes a full-size boat, an inclined river bank, stone outcroppings, a life-size tree, jungle vines, and a multitude of life-size bugs and other animals. We hope you’ll join us for this thrilling and educational play.

The intrepid Robinson family head out on an educational escapade and luxury cruise down the Amazon River with their cousins, the Switzers. But an unexpected log jam and a sudden flash flood separate the children from their parents, sending the kids on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in one of our planet’s most fascinating places: the Amazon rain forest! This thrilling re-imagining of Johann Wyss’s timeless classic novel is a classic adventure story for all ages and teaches the audience much about the animals and plants of the Amazon jungle as well as about the environmental impact of logging in this delicate biosphere.

Here’s the complete performance schedule:

Friday, July 17 at 7 PM
Saturday, July 18 at 1 PM and 5 PM
Sunday, July 19 at 3 PM
Thursday, July 23 at 7 PM
Friday, July 24 at 7 PM
Saturday, July 25 at 1 PM and 5 PM
Sunday, July 26 at 3 PM
Thursday, July 30 at 7 PM
Friday, July 31 at 7 PM
Saturday, August 1 at 1 PM and 5 PM

The play is being performed by ten of Knoxville’s most talented young actors. And eight of the ten are performing with CTK for the first time. Alli Acuff plays Cassie Robinson, the oldest child, who is suddenly thrown into the role of “authority figure.”
Alli is a rising freshman at Christian Academy of Knoxville. Ten-year-old Will Kersey plays the amateur naturalist and survivalist Jake Robinson. And London Keller plays Ande, the youngest Robinson. At 7 years old, London is CTK’s youngest mainstage performer ever. The Robinsons are joined on this escapade by their cousins, Henry, Billy, and the twins Abbe and Claire Switzer. Fourteen-year-old Mac Bower plays Henry. Mac has performed previously with CTK and Theatre Knoxville. Eleven-year-old Sean Sloas plays Billy Switzer. Sean is a frequent performer at Grace Christian Academy. Ten-year-olds Caroline Dyer and Lauren Krahwinkel play the twins Abbe and Claire.
This is Caroline’s third CTK appearance, and Lauren has appeared in several church productions. Michaela Hall, Bethany Moon, and Wheeler Moon round out the cast as children of the Amazon natives. Twelve-year-old Michaela recently appeared in Bearden Middle School’s production of “Once Upon A Mattress.” Bethany and Wheeler are making their stage debuts!

This unique re-telling of “The Swiss Family Robinson” is the brainchild of veteran performers and writers, Josh and Meg Beach. Longtime Blount County residents, Josh and Meg wrote and produced many wonderful children’s plays in the 1990s for Blount County Junior Playhouse. Since then, both have acted for many local theatre companies and have had a lengthy association with Circle Modern Dance Company, for which they have created, choreographed, and performed.
Look for them to bring their knowledge of dance and percussion to this intriguing adventure play! Josh is also a talented carpenter and designer, and audiences will surely love the boat and treehouse he has designed for “The Swiss Family Robinson,” as well as his unique stage design for the production.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday, July 6. Reservations are strongly recommended; for example, seven of the nine performances of “Charlotte’s Web” were sold out. The best way to reserve tickets is by e-mailing tickets@childrenstheatreknoxville.com.
Include the number of child tickets and adult tickets you wish to purchase, along with your preferred show date and time, and you will receive a detailed reply about the performance. Reservations may also be made by calling (865) 599-5284. Tickets are $11 per person. We are continuing our special rate with this show: any adult and child entering the theatre together may do so for $9 each.
Reserved tickets may be paid for at the door by cash or check.

The play is being performed at CTK’s new theatre in downtown Knoxville, located at 800 Tyson Street. Heading north from downtown on Broadway, Tyson Street turns left (west) just past Old Gray Cemetery. Tyson Street is between the traffic lights on Broadway at Fifth Avenue and Central Avenue, and is directly across the street from historic Emory Place. The theatre is about 300 feet down Tyson Street, immediately next door to Dixie Kitchens. The CTK sign is visible from Broadway, looking down Tyson Street. Click the “Map and Directions” link in the shaded area on the right side of this page for more directional information.

The play is made possible through the continuing support of UT Surgical Associates, Schaad Companies, and Signs ‘N’ Such.

OF 2009

CTK will present four more productions in 2009, and those performance dates have been set. Mark your calendars for these upcoming plays:

Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, Jr.
a musical play based on the 1951 Walt Disney Studios film August 14 through August 30 Thursdays & Fridays at 7 PM Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM and Sundays at 3 PM

The Diary of Anne Frank
a drama by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett September 11 through September 26 Thursdays & Fridays at 7 PM Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM and Sundays at 3 PM

The Canterville Ghost
a spooky comedy based on a short story by Oscar Wilde October 16 through October 31 Thursdays & Fridays at 7 PM Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM and Sundays at 3 PM

James and the Giant Peach
a comic fantasy based on the book by Roald Dahl November 13 through November 29 Thursdays & Fridays at 7 PM Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM and Sundays at 3 PM



After hosting over 40 children for summer camps in June, CTK will hold an intensive week-long summer workshop for teens on July 20 through 24, from 1 PM to 4 PM. This workshop is specifically geared for ages 15 to 18.

This camp allows students to explore the theatrical process with an actual play script. Students will use exercises to develop characters from a 20-minute play and use the script to envision and enact believable characterizations within the constrictions of an actual play. This workshop begins on Monday, July 20 and continues through Friday, July 24, from 1 PM to 4 PM. The workshop will be held at CTK’s new theatre facility at 800 Tyson Street in downtown Knoxville. The instruction fee for the 15 hour camp is $200. To reserve a spot in this camp, e-mail CTK Artistic Director Jenny Ballard at jenny@childrenstheatreknoxville.com . Payment of 50% of camp fee is expected upon reservation. Students are seated on a first-paid, first-seated basis. Camp size is limited to ten students maximum. At this time, three slots remain in the workshop. Reservation deadline is July 14.

Our Matinee Club gears back up for the academic year in August. Matinee Club classes take place on Saturdays and teach performance basics and character creation through a fun and lively series of games, exercises, and classroom work.

The Early Fall Term topic for our Matinee Club class for ages
6 to 10 is: I Feel! I Am! I Do! This class centers on teaching character creation as a recipe of emotion (I Feel!), identity (I Am!) and action (I Do!). Students develop interesting and humorous characters using verbal and non-verbal skills with this effective actor’s “recipe”.
This class begins on Saturday, September 12 and continues for the following four Saturdays. Classes occur September 12, 19, 26; October 3 & 10. Classes take place at CTK’s new home (800 Tyson Street in downtown Knoxville). The instruction fee for the 10 hour workshop is $150. To reserve a spot in this class, e-mail CTK Artistic Director Jenny Ballard at jenny@childrenstheatreknoxville.com .
Payment of 50% of class fee is expected upon reservation. Students are seated on a first-paid, first-seated basis. Class size is limited to ten students maximum.


Almost 60 children auditioned for CTK’s first musical production, which will be “Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, Jr.” Each and every one was remarkably talented, and the casting decisions were difficult. In the end, 23 children were cast in the play, and fourteen of them will be appearing with CTK for the first time. Caroline King will be the play’s director, with Lisa Hatmaker serving as Choreographer, and Caitlin Kennedy working as Assistant Director.

If you know any of the cast members, give them a much-deserved congratulations. The cast is Sophia Abouelata, Kayla Allsop, Madison Austin, Marisa Beeler, Juliette Blais, Jaden Branson, Jacob Carpenter, Jacob Friedrich, Samantha Hatmaker, Amber Hull, Zachary Hull, Alex Levi, Laney Markham, Maggie McCoig, Faith Neece, Krista Nolan, Maya Rioux, Zoe Risley, Hannah Sloas, Kelly Tipton, Morgan Voyles, Nathan Wolfenbarger, and Abigail Wood.

Thanks to everyone who auditioned, and if you didn’t get in this play, please look below for our upcoming audition for our Halloween play.


CTK is proud to announce a partnership with Tanasi Girl Scouts to produce a magical and deeply moving play called “Zink: The Myth, The Legend, The Zebra” by legendary children’s dramatist and novelist Cherie Bennett, author of “Anne Frank and Me” and “Searching for David’s Heart.”

Commissioned by First Stage Milwaukee, Zink is about true courage in the face of unpredictable predators. Imaginative, funny, and heartbreaking, it's the story of the relationship of Becky, a lonely pre-teen girl with leukemia, to her guardian-angel herd of zebras on the African savannah. The zebras range from street-smart Ice Z to grandfatherly Papa Zeke, effete Zilch to endearing Shlep, a furry green monkey sure he is actually a zebra. In Africa, Becky learns about Zink, a mythical polka-dotted zebra once an outcast but later a hero with the most courage and biggest heart. Becky's health worsens and she zaps back and forth between her real life and the zebra world until the shattering, breathtaking and uplifting climax. Never maudlin, playwright Bennett does a masterful job of balancing the hard realities of illness and the magic found on the zebras' African plains.

Join us for a funny and inspirational play, and meet the national mascot Zink at each performance. Look for more details soon on our website:


CTK will hold auditions for “The Canterville Ghost” on Tuesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 19.

“The Canterville Ghost” is a spooky comedy, based on a classic short story by Oscar Wilde. An American family buys an old mansion in rural England, scoffing at warnings of a rowdy resident ghost. The parents and their three children may have met their match in the “spirited”
and clever ghost, who is determined to scare them out! In the end, kind-hearted Virginia helps him fulfill the terms of the legend by summoning a heroic courage and learning the value of a good deed. The Dallas Morning News reports:
“It’s a pleasure to take the kids to something that diffuses fear with humor, such as ‘The Canterville Ghost’… a Halloween story with a difference… and a particularly fine one.”

CTK is casting five adults (3 males, 2 females) and five children
(4 males and 1 female) for this production. For this play, auditions are by appointment only. Auditioners may make an appointment for one of the following times:

Tuesday, August 18: 4:30 PM, 5:15 PM, 6:00 PM, 6:45 PM, and 7:30 PM.
Wednesday, August 19: 4:30 PM, 5:15 PM, 6:00 PM, 6:45 PM, and 7:30 PM.

Appointments will be taken on a first-reserved, first-scheduled basis.
Eight auditioners will be scheduled for each time period. Therefore, a maximum of 80 auditioners will be seen. Audition appointments may be made by e-mailing info@childrenstheatreknoxville.com .

The play will begin rehearsing Wednesday, September 2 and will rehearse Sunday afternoons and Monday through Thursday evenings. The play will open on Friday, October 16 and play for 13 performances on weekends through October 31.

Auditions will be held in our theatre, located at in downtown Knoxville at 800 Tyson Street.



In a recent media campaign, WTNZ Fox 43 surveyed their viewers on over 80 types of local businesses. After almost two months of polling, and over 12,000 votes!, CTK was named as the winner of “Best Theatre Group” with 35% of the votes!
Thanks to all those who chose us in this wide-reaching survey!

And in the 2009 Best of MetroPulse balloting, CTK was listed as a runner-up in “Best Local Theatre.” Considering the winner was The Actors Co-Op and our fellow runner-up was The Clarence Brown Theatre, we feel very proud that our child actors were honored in being mentioned with Knoxville’s alternative theatre and our city’s professional company in our first year of eligibility.


CTK thanks all of those who came out to see “Charlotte’s Web” and to celebrate the opening of our new theatre space! We expected to have around 500 audience members for the show, and over twice that number attended the play. We could not have had a better opening of a new location, and the support we have received from you is truly humbling!

We moved into the new Tyson Street location FIVE days before the play opened! All of the children (and their families) lent a hand to get the location performance- ready, doing everything from quickly building the scenery to stocking the bathrooms. After five sixteen-hour days, we opened the doors to a sold-out opening night!

Josh Beach has turned the facility into a jungle for our current production of “The Swiss Family Robinson.”
The barn from “Charlotte’s Web” has yielded to jungle vines, trees, a boat and a life-size tree! We are so fortunate to have such a flexible theatre environment!

But the work is not over: we have a multitude of plans for the new location, and we’ll proceed on these as resources and circumstances allow us to over the coming months. As autumn advances, we hope to build a permanent stage, rig a front-of-stage curtain, install sound- and light-absorbing curtains in the interior performance area, install a lighting grid, renovate and ventilate the adjacent wing for a rehearsal hall and classroom, and move our supplies into storage.
We hope you’ll notice some of these changes by the time you return for “The Swiss Family Robinson:
Amazon Adventure” in July!

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Wind in the Willows