Valley Youth Theatre's 30th Anniversary Season Continues With A WINNIE-THE-POOH CHRISTMAS TAIL

Valley Youth Theatre's 30th Anniversary Season Continues With A WINNIE-THE-POOH CHRISTMAS TAIL

Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) opens their 23rd production of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail, this Friday, November 30, at 7:30 pm, at Valley Youth Theatre. In addition to opening night, public performances include Saturdays and Sundays, December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 23 at 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm, as well as three performances on Saturday, December 22, at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm and 4:00 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, November 29, 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. Books related to the production and accompanying study guides are provided to the children prior to seeing the show. School shows are December 6 and 13, at 9:30 am and 11:30 am.

According to VYT's Producing Artistic Director, Bobb Cooper, "The reason we continue to present this special story, year after year, is that it has become a holiday favorite in Phoenix. And because it appeals to all people of all ages, parents bring their children to this show to introduce them to live theatre and to create or carry on family traditions. In fact, because we have produced this wonderful musical for so many years, we now see many of our former cast members bringing their children - and even their grandchildren - to see what they were a part of as a child."

Fifteen-year-old Prescott Smidt (Christopher Robin) and 16-year-old Oriana Valcamp (Winnie-the-Pooh) reprise their roles from last season. Smidt is a Freshman at Arizona School for the Arts and he has appeared in three other VYT productions. Valcamp is a Junior at Arcadia High School and she has been involved in seven VYT productions. Both have appeared on stage and worked on the technical crew.

The cast also includes Valley performers between the age of 7 and 17. They are Elizabeth Evans (Roo), Makenna Jacobs (Kanga), Nathaniel McNamara (Rabbit), Vivian Paige Nichols (Piglet), Brooke Nielsen (Owl), Carson Roubison (Tigger), Samantha Stinnett (Eeyore) and six Woodland Friends.

Former cast members of this production include now-famous actors including Emma Stone (Winnie-the-Pooh 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 for the first time. 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, "As we celebrate our 30th Season, I can't think of a better way to honor what VYT brings to the Valley than this ongoing lesson of love."

Sponsored by Dan and Ann Nahom and sponsored in part by Sherman & Howard, 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 on a holiday adventure of sharing, caring, friendship and JOY.

This season marks the 30th Anniversary for VYT and their schedule of five musicals and one play includes three Arizona premieres. 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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