Theater

A rollicking time along the River Thames

Taos Children's Theatre presents a lively production of 'The Wind in the Willows'

By Tamra Testerman
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 7/10/19

In the Taos Children's Theatre's adventurous theatrical version of the 1908 classic, "The Wind in the Willows," you'll find "motor cars, boats on the river Thames and bands of …

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Theater

A rollicking time along the River Thames

Taos Children's Theatre presents a lively production of 'The Wind in the Willows'

Posted

In the Taos Children's Theatre's adventurous theatrical version of the 1908 classic, "The Wind in the Willows," you'll find "motor cars, boats on the river Thames and bands of fairies romping about onstage," according to director and Taos actor Karen Thibodeau.

You'll also witness a cast of 25 young thespians and dancers, supported by Steve Moser as a sagacious Badger and Christopher Heron as Fenton Fox, "rollick and frolic through the Wild Wood."

Performances of this play are Friday and Saturday (July 12-13), 7 p.m., at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

This beloved classic emerged after Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" (1865) and before A.A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh" (1926). The author of "The Wind in the Willows," Kenneth Grahame, was a retired banker and the father of a depressed child, according to Thibodeau. The book "transports readers into the enchanting world of Rattie and Mole and the river life of animals on the Thames." Toad Hall is re-created by set designer Thibodeau and crew, and the action takes place under a giant willow on the Thames River. Casandra Romero did the lighting design for the show and Martin Roaque is the master behind the sound and projected effects.

The cast of this rambunctious summer romp shared their thoughts on the show, the rehearsal process and why Tempo readers should come see them.

Layla Martínez, who plays Rabbit - part of Toad's Forest Friends who try to save him - said, "The thing I like about this play is that it is fun to rehearse and play theater games. Readers should come to see me because it was hard work and it will be worth seeing us."

Ojala Gottschau Larsen plays Jenny Wren, a bird who is part of Toad's Forest Friends. She "likes the dances" and said, "The play will be amazing and so much fun." Anastacia Santistevan plays Harriet Hedgehog, the cook of Toad Hall. She likes the play because of "all the animal characters and the way we all have British accents."

Jesús Rosales, the actor who embraces the character Dennis Dormouse, the tutor for Portly Otter, said he's "learning new things, like how to have a British accent." People should come see the performance "because everything is so cool ... also, our hip-hop dance is so cool."

Actor Selena Aragón plays Nym the Ferret, part of the weasel gang called The Nasty Guys. She commented, "This play is coming together, all of us, to perform a show that we all worked hard on. I also like the story itself." Aragón is also a makeup artist for the show which is a career path she would like to pursue.

Nadelynn Maes is Lizzie the Lizard, the housekeeper for Toad Hall; she also plays Jailer Delbert. She likes "the animal characters because they give you a chance to be yourself and find out something you never knew about yourself."

Zahra Bella Gottschau plays Mr. Toad -- "the horrible driver who crashes his cars." He said he enjoys "the creativity that is involved in putting this play together. I also like how hard everyone is working and how fabulous the props are. I am so excited to perform as Mr. Toad."

Amelie Blaustein plays Piney Marten, part of the weasel gang The Nasty Guys. She said people should come see the play "because it has an awesome director. This is a cool play. The weasels are cool. Why? Because they're sneaky. They steal stuff, like Toad's picnic."

Kathryn Ballard plays multiple characters like Newtie Newton, the Gardener of Toad Hall, Columbine Fairy and Jailer Ringo. She commented, "What I like about his play is that I play three cool and different characters." She continued, "Tempo readers should come to see us because we worked hard. We rehearsed almost every day on this production for six weeks. We hope that our audience will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed working and collaborating on it."

Odessa Carson is the Nobble the Ferret, also a member of The Nasty Guys weasel gang. She likes the "stage cars and all the actors and my directors and my part in the play." She thinks people need to see this play, pronto "because I'm in a very cool summer theater camp, and I'm with very cool people, and I've done it for three weeks now and I love it."

Tickets are $12; $8 for students and seniors; and $6 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available by calling (575) 758-2052 or by stopping by the box office.

Project sponsors include New Mexico Arts, The McCune Foundation, Chevron Mining, Taos County Lodgers Tax Fund, Taos Community Foundation, The Jones Family Fund and sponsors from the Taos business community.

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