Valley Youth Theatre Opens 24th WINNIE THE POOH CHRISTMAS TAIL

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Valley Youth Theatre Opens 24th WINNIE THE POOH CHRISTMAS TAIL

Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) opens their 24TH production of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail, Friday, December 6, at 7:00 pm, at Valley Youth Theatre. In addition to opening night, public performances include Saturdays and Sundays, December 7, 8, 14, 15 and 22 at 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm, as well as three performances on Saturday, December 21, at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm and two performances on Monday, December 23, at 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. The theatre is located at 525 North First Street, in Downtown Phoenix, and ticket prices begin at $17, when purchased as part of a 4-show package.

The audience for dress rehearsal, Thursday, December 5, will comprise Valley HopeKids and their families, as does the dress rehearsal for every VYT show. Additionally, four weekday shows have been exclusively reserved for school field trips and VYT's Literacy and The Arts program, the award-winning program that gives students from Title 1 schools a page-to-stage experience by combining in-school learning with the experience of live theatre. School shows are December 12 and 19, at 9:30 am and 11:30 am, and feature half-price tickets at only $10.

According to VYT's Producing Artistic Director, Bobb Cooper, "This show truly has become a holiday tradition in Phoenix. In fact, the young people cast in this production are now a part of a very special group of performers who have honed their skills with this show. Nearly 300 young people have been a part of this production and many of our former cast members now bring their children - and even their grandchildren - to see what they were a part of as a child."

Seventeen-year-olds Justin Vaught (Christopher Robin) and Emily Jacoby (Winnie-the-Pooh) are VYT veterans. Vaught, who goes to Desert Vista High School, has appeared in thirteen other VYT productions and Jacoby, who attends Perry High School, has appeared in two other VYT shows.

This year's cast includes several other Valley performers between the age of 7 and 17. They are Charlotte Specter (Roo), Grace Bush (Kanga), Olivia Fearey (Rabbit), Vivian Paige Nichols (Piglet), Abbey Bernard (Owl), Prescott Smidt (Tigger), Kylan Chait (Eeyore) and six Woodland Friends, Claire Likes, MaddieSue Miller, Jayden Presnal, Slye Sulka, Lanie Witman and Samantha Zell.

Former cast members of this production include now-famous actors including Emma Stone (Rabbit and Eeyore) and Kimiko Glenn (Piglet and Rabbit).

Produced by Cooper, this production is directed and choreographed by former VYT Kid, Ashley Stults. Music is directed by Tristan Peterson-Steinert and has been reworked to include guitars and drums. Sound design is provided by Brian Honsberger, costume design by Karol Cooper, lighting and scenic design by Bobb Cooper and the Production Stage Manager is Joycelin Jacobs-Schwartz.

Book, Music & Lyrics by James W. Rodgers. Inspired by A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. Presented through special arrangement w/ Dramatic Publishing

Adds Cooper, "This is a timeless story about caring, sharing and the importance of friends. It has a message that patrons of all ages can appreciate."

Sponsored by Dan and Ann Nahom and sponsored, this musical follows Christopher Robin, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, Baby Roo and, of course, Winnie-the-Pooh as they organize a search party throughout the snow-covered Hundred Acre Woods to help poor Eeyore find his lost tail. The theatre is transformed into a winter wonderland and the audience is encouraged to sing along with this enchanting musical.

This season marks the 31st Season for VYT, and features five musicals and one play. Eight-week Fall, Winter and Spring performing arts classes are also offered, as are Spring Break and Summer Camps. The theatre's ongoing community programs include Literacy and the Arts, Sponsor-a-Seat and The Nigel Ross Scholarship Fund as well as their annual fundraising event, the VYTal (Valley Youth Theater Applauds Leadership) Affair, in August.

For more information on Valley Youth Theatre, visit www.vyt.com.



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