Lights, students, action.
Two theater company’s in Ahwatukee Foothills are kicking off the start of the season with children-themed shows this month.
Actors and actresses from Mountain Pointe High School’s company will open the year with a production of “Go Dog Go” tomorrow.
Based on the children’s book originally written in 1961, the show is geared toward younger audiences as the play’s script is straight from the book.
“The actors are excited, it was a challenge doing a kid’s book,” said director Kim Bonagofski.
In keeping details true to the book without any additions, Bonagofski also tried to simulate scenes and colors from the book.
“It really is like a giant pop-up book,” Bonagofski said.
“Go Dog Go” follows a group of six dogs as they dance, sing, play, and have adventures through a magical world. The cast of six main actors also interact with the audience.
The cast began rehearsing for the show during the second week of school.
At first, Bonagofski admitted that the actors weren’t too happy with the idea of doing a show about dancing dogs.
“They kind of looked at me like ‘are you serious?’” Bonagofski said. “But most grew up reading this book.”
Once the actors got into the idea, it was all downhill from there.
In addition to her 4-year-old, Bonagofski also has a 4-month-old daughter that may grow up to appreciate the book, too.
“She may also make a guest appearance toward the end of the show,” Bonagofski said. “But we’ll see.”
Ahwatukee Children’s Theater (ACT) is also premiering its first play of the season with an original production geared for a young audience.
“Disney Dreamin’” was put together by the theater’s founder and executive director, Michele Rubino.
The show is a modge podge of classic and modern Disney characters that help remind a young girl named Hope the great things about “make believe” and imagination.
“The kids are very excited and love to be able to sing and dance to familiar songs,” Rubino said.
The cast of about 40 actors perform an array of songs from “The Lion King” to “Aladdin” to “Tangled.”
When choosing what play would open the season, Rubino said the staff considered what the kid’s have been requesting and then bounced around ideas.
“It’s a great show that’s family-oriented,” Rubino said. “Plus, who doesn’t like Disney?
Opening night for “Go Dog Go” at Mountain Pointe, 4201 E. Knox Road, is this Thursday, Sept. 13, and it will be playing through Sept. 15.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for kids ages 3 to 12, and can be purchased at the school bookstore.
Opening night for “Disney Dreamin’” is Sept. 28 and it goes through Sept. 30 at the Ahwatukee Children’s Theater, 5051 E. Elliot Road. To reserve tickets, call (480) 705-9319.
Desert Vista High School and Horizon Community Learning Center’s theater productions will begin in November.
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