The Harmony Arts Program is working hard on its upcoming debut production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr.
As the newest children’s theatre program in the city, the Harmony Arts Program is excited to be presenting its debut theatre production later this spring, but first, the team is in need of some equally enthusiastic sponsors to jump on board.
Harmony Arts launched around six months ago, working with students between the ages of six and 17 to provide theatre training opportunities.
After an unusual adjustment to follow pandemic guidelines, the company has announced it will be debuting on stage at the Mae Wilson Theatre this March with a production of Aladdin Jr., a musical theatre version of the classic Disney movie.
“The kids are excited to have something to work on,” said Harmony Arts leader Jan Nelson. “And we feel that providing the opportunity for live theatre to kids in our community is most important, so we’ve decided to persevere.”
With a cast of 17 local students taking part, Nelson promises that the production will include some recognizable musical numbers the audience already knows from the popular movie as well as some new ones, in addition to a few others.
“It has a similar storyline, but there’s more characters,” said Nelson. “And we chose the script because we thought it had the ability to give an opportunity for every kid to shine, and we know the kids are going to do an excellent job bringing it to the stage.”
Aladdin Jr. will be the first large-scale production for Harmony Arts, which is an exciting step for the program, said Nelson.
Members of the community have already stepped forward to offer help with costume and set design, as Harmony Arts is still in the fledgling stages in terms of finances.
In order to put on a professional production on stage, Nelson and her crew are hoping to welcome some local sponsorship to help fund other costs of the show, like covering venue costs and planning to include some exciting special effects to really bring the “wow” factor.
“There’s different things that we would like to do with the show, to make it splash and make it more fun,” said Nelson. “For example, the Cave of Wonders that we’ve built, we would love to be able to fly it in and out but that requires having a person specifically to do that.”
There are three levels of sponsorship packages available, shared parent committee member Lori Deets, which include things like promotion opportunities on the company’s website and playbill and even free tickets to the show.
“The whole experience of doing live theatre at the Mae Wilson Theatre, it’s a wonderful opportunity and gives the kids a whole experience,” said Deets. “But it does come at a cost and we need to raise funds in order to make it possible.”
Both Deets and Nelson agree supporting a local theatre program right here in the city is something worth considering.
Taking part in performing arts programs has many benefits for children, said Nelson, including building confidence and encouraging skills useful even off the stage, like teamwork.
“There’s lots of changes we see in kids, like the ability to public speak or the confidence to raise their hand and use their voice in school, be part of discussions in class,” said Nelson. “When kids are doing performing arts, [and] when they’re well-received, they have the feeling of a job well done that grows confidence.”
For any businesses or individuals interested in offering sponsorship for the upcoming spring production, they can contact Nelson at email@example.com or Deets at firstname.lastname@example.org.