When the pandemic officially hit in March 2020, the MCT youth show La Petite Rouge was immediately shut down, though opening night was just a few days away. I talked show directors Geoff Hall and Alicia Greathouse about that unfortunate loss, their love of kid’s theater and its return with their MCT production of Wind in the Willows next spring.
Why didn’t you redo La Petite Rouge this season?
Geoff – We had a great cast, but some of the kids might no longer be available now. We thought it best to start anew.
Why do prefer to do children’s shows?
Alicia – It allows kids to appreciate classic literature. Wind in the Willows is a great example of this. Also, sometimes we work with troubled kids who benefit from the togetherness and sense of family in a show. And, in general, kids are just a lot of fun!
Geoff – To be honest, kids tend to be easier to deal with. They generally don’t question things, which makes everything go a lot smoother. I also think that kid’s shows can be just as good as adult ones.
Do you have a favorite show you’ve done?
Alicia – Probably A Year of Frog and Toad. It was a Broadway show for adults that we modified for kids.
Geoff – Doing the Hobbit was an insane amount of work, but very satisfying. We taught kids how to sword fight! I’m also proud how we did Peter Pan at MCT, by carrying kids to simulate flying.
Do you have any particular people in theater or movies you admire?
Alicia – I love Angela Lansbury. I also think Julie Andrews is one of the all time greats.
Geoff – Some of my heroes are Mark Twain, James Barrie and J. R. R. Tolkien. I also think the Hanna Barbera team that created all those cartoons was amazing.
What do you think is special about MCT?
Alicia – The theater itself is a great intimate space. Also, operating as an all volunteer organization is an amazing accomplishment.
Geoff – The theater is so small that you can really connect with the audience. It is possible to break the fourth wall and have a truly great experience for all involved.