Your favorite adventurous kitty cat, Puss in Boots, will be coming to the stage at the Community Theatre League, 100 W. Third St., at 7:30 p.m. March 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. March 24.
The CTL is putting on their own, multi-cultural version of the story, "Puss in Boots and Other Cat Tails."
"This one is a lot different. It's called 'Puss in Boots and Other Cat Tails,' so the Puss story is just one of four that will be acted out. The other stories are cat stories from different parts of the world, so the play definitely has a multi-cultural vibe," Jacqueline Engel, CTL administrative manager, said.
Above, Dominick Jenkins, as Fluff Daddy, left, Brandon Hoover, as Tom Cat Jones and Bailee Armond as MC Cat, will interact with the audience and “draw them into the play” in “Puss In Boots” at the Community Theatre League.
The show is described on CTL's website as "a combination of international dialects, clever transitions and creative use of percussion." Also that comedian "MC Cat" takes the audience on a world tour of stories about his relatives, showing audience members different parts of the globe including Mexico, Japan and Africa.
The play is a part of their SPROUTS program, theater for children by children, ages 2 to 10, and according to Engel, all the children are local. It is directed by Leanne Brown, a long-time CTL volunteer and actress, alongside her father. She's expecting a child of her own.
"There are 22 kids in this show, a musical size cast, all local kids and a few with their acting debut," said Brown.
"A show this size takes a lot of hard work and energy whether it is kids or adults, but truth be told, I find it easier to work with children in theater. They have a passion and drive for learning and experiencing new things that I feel you lose sometimes when you become an adult," she said.
The theater is unique in that it gives anyone and everyone who wants to audition a chance. Starting in 1976, it boasts of its long-time dedication to doing just that.
"There would be no membership dues and no annual meetings. Auditions would be open to anyone with or without experience and a structure for supporting each organizational function would be established. Three founders are actively involved today and the organization has grown to include hundreds of volunteers," a statement on their website says.
Additionally, it adds that one only needs to show interest to be involved.
To the CTL, having the SPROUTS program and introducing theater to children is important.
"Theater builds confidence like no other activity I know," Engel said. "The kids performing the show are already pretty confident and having opportunities to perform strengthens that. The kids in the audience may be sitting there thinking, "I can do that." So hopefully it will inspire them to audition and perhaps be in a show themselves."
And, despite being a show for children, the work that goes into putting on a children's production, Engel said, can be just as complex as an adult-oriented show.
"There is always the challenge for the director to get young kids to project and put themselves out there, so it's a different kind of work. The shows are less than an hour long, but this particular show [Puss in Boots] is four stories within a story, so it's fairly complex," she said.
A fun show for all, a family of four can get a ticket for just $25.
"We try to keep our ticket prices affordable. CTL is a dramatic experience not to be missed," Engel said. To find out more information about CTL happenings and upcoming shows, visit www.ctlnet.org.