Chamber in the News

Home > News > Members in the News 2019

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
2/1/2019 Member News
Adventure Theatre Finds Young Stars to Debut as Huck and Jim

ADVENTURE THEATRE FINDS YOUNG STARS TO DEBUT AS HUCK AND JIM

 

In the premiere of the Revised TYA version of Broadway's Big River 

 

GLEN ECHO, MD –Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC), after an extensive search for the most talented young actors in 5 counties across Washington, DC, announces the diverse cast of Huckleberry Finn’s Big River. Huckleberry Finn’s Big River is a revised version of the Tony Award winning musical Big River. With the support of over 100 consensus organizers (individuals and organizations serving the black community), this version, revised by the original Tony-Award Winning playwright William Hauptman, removes offensive language and expands the role of Jim, now the same age as Huckleberry, while capitalizing on the original music and lyrics by Roger Miller, winner of 11 Grammy Awards.

As Jim, teenagers Zach Rakotomaniraka and Nathan Butts will share the role. Zach is a current student of Washington Ballet, and Nathan is an active member of his community and school. As Huckleberry Finn, Jonah Schwartz and Max Gerecht will share the role. Jonah and Max are both Pre-Professional Company Members at ATMTC Academy. Additional youth cast includes Madisyn Brown and Alexa Givens as Alice, and Anna Maria Shockey and Ella Coulson as Mary Jane. Both Alexa and Ella are Pre-Professional Company Member with ATMTC Academy, Madisyn is a long-time performer in her community, and Anna Maria Shockey is a current student with NM Productions in Springfield, VA.

Adventure Theatre MTC conducted a DC-Area Wide search for talent in October of 2018 to find the student cast to fit these challenging lead roles. In partnership with Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Next Stop Theatre, Frederick Community College, Six Flags, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Montgomery County Public Schools, Adventure Theatre MTC scoured the area for gifted young performers able to handle the rigor of a professional production. 

Video of these young talents accepting their roles is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LStTm_E3N1Q 

Michael Baron, Director of Huckleberry Finn’s Big River says, “This cast is incredible. We are so lucky to have this level of talent and energy in such a groundbreaking production. I’m especially impressed by our young stars. It look a long time to find the right teens to bring these characters to life, but I know families and regular theatre goers will be blown away by their abilities.”

Adventure Theatre MTC seeks to celebrate courage, to encourage social change and social justice, and to engage generations about our current nation’s social climate through this revision. African-American consensus organizers from all over Washington, DC contributed input, content, and financial support for Huckleberry Finn’s Big River in all areas including the set, costumes, script, marketing materials, and educational materials.

This revision of Broadway’s Tony-Winning Musical will lift young audiences’ spirits. The small-cast hour-long version of Mark Twain’s polarizing novel removes offensive language and expands the role of Jim, now the same age as Huck. Twain’s classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, an enslaved teen, escape to freedom. This tale of friendship against all odds is recreated for young audiences as two best friends demonstrate the power children have to change the world.

Huckleberry Finn’s Big River performances begin February 8 and run through March 10, 2019. The press performance will be Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 11am. All performances will take place at Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD, 20812 in the historic Glen Echo Park. For more information about Adventure Theatre MTC or Huckleberry Finn’s Big River, call 301-634-2270 or visit www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org. 

 

ABOUT ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC

Adventure Theatre MTC educates and inspires new generations of theater artists and audiences with exceptional theatrical experiences.

 

HUCKLEBERRY FINN'S BIG RIVER FACT SHEET

World premiere co- production with The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, in association with Rogers and Hammerstein Theatricals and First Stage
Based on the classic by Mark Twain and the Tony Award winning Big River 
Book by William Hauptman 
Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller 
New arrangements and orchestrations by William Yanesh 
Directed by Michael Baron 
All performances held in Glen Echo Park 
Recommended for all ages 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director........................................................................................................................... Michael Baron
Assistant Director......................................................................................................... Monique Midgette
Music Director............................................................................................................... Tiffany Holmes
Playwright...................................................................................................................... Bill Hauptman
Choreographer............................................................................................................. Ashleigh King
Orchestrator................................................................................................................... Bill Yanesh
Costume Designer....................................................................................................... Jeffrey Meek
Set Designer................................................................................................................. Deb Sivigny
Lighting Designer......................................................................................................... Harold Burgess
Sound Designer........................................................................................................... Kevin Alexander
Props Designer............................................................................................................. Patti Kalil
Dramaturgy................................................................................................................... Katie Ciszek
Stage Manager............................................................................................................. Kirsten E. Parker
Asst. Stage Manager................................................................................................... Trent Harper

CAST

Huckleberry Finn..........................................................................................................Max Gerecht, Jonah Schwartz
Jim ................................................................................................................................. Nathan Butts, Zach Rakotomaniraka
Alice................................................................................................................................ Madisyn Brown, Alexa Givens
Mary Jane...................................................................................................................... Ella Coulson, Anna Maria Shockey
Judge Thatcher/Sheriff .............................................................................................. Calvin Malone
Duke .............................................................................................................................. Matthew Schleigh
Widow Douglas............................................................................................................ Sarah Anne Sillers
King................................................................................................................................. Josh Simon
Understudy.................................................................................................................... Meredith Eib
Understudy.................................................................................................................... Ariel (Ari) Messeca

 

IMPORTANT DATES/SPECIAL EVENTS

Production Run Dates – February 8 – March 10, 2019
Press Opening – February 10, 2019 at 11am 
Pay What You Can Performance- February 8, 2019 at 7pm 
Pajama Party with free milk & cookies- February 8, 2019 at 7pm  
American Sign Language Interpreted Performance – February 23, 2019 at 4:30pm 
Sensory/Autism Friendly Performance- February 23, 2019 at 4:30pm 

 

###