SCR's Junior Players' JACK AND THE GIANT BEANSTALK Begins Today
Jack and the Giant Beanstalk by Linda Daugherty, directed by Mercy Vasquez, will be presented by South Coast Repertory's Junior Players today, April 22-23 and April 29-30 in the Nicholas Studio. Tickets are $10 and available online at www.scr.org.
The cast of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk are members of SCR's Junior Players (grades 6-8), chosen through audition after at least two years in the Theatre Conservatory. These young actors attend class twice weekly during the school year, with additional rehearsal time prior to their annual performance.
The Junior Players portray all the roles in Daugherty's stage version, which includes many refreshing twists-and characters, like Jack's father, a ship's captain who appears in the first scene and is presumed lost at sea.
"The old English fairy tale is now a coming of age story about a boy stepping into the role of his father in order to become a man and support his mother," said Vasquez. "Jack wants to emulate the man who has existed, for the most part, in his fertile imagination. This way, he keeps his father alive, not only for himself but for his mother."
After the exciting first scene, the story follows Jack as he sells his old cow for a handful of beans-which sprout in the front yard-and climbs the stalk to the giant's home in the sky. But now there's a black-eyed man held captive by the giant, allowing the young playgoers to wonder-could that be Jack's father?
According to Vasquez, "Often scripts give young people more explanation than necessary. This one bursts right into the action, does away with a narrator and lets the kids figure out what is about to happen."
Vasquez, who teaches the Junior Players during the school year, as well as directing their production, graduated from UCLA with majors in English Literature and theater. She received dramatic training in London at King's College, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Acting Intensive Program in SCR's Theatre Conservatory. She has performed on stage at South Coast Repertory, Garden Grove Playhouse, Theater Theater and Heritage Square Theater.