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Reading Community Players present ‘Disney’s Moana JR’

Reading Community Players present its production of “Disney’s Moana JR,” Friday, June 28 at 7 p.m. as well as Saturday, June 29 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at The Miller Center for the Arts.

The 60-minute musical adaptation of the 2016 Disney animated film brings the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage. The musical features all the film’s beloved songs, including “How Far I’ll Go,” “Shiny” and “You’re Welcome” written by Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina.

The book has been adapted by Susan Soon He Stanton with music and orchestra adapted and arranged by Ian Weinberger.

With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, this coming-of-age story — starring youth from throughout Berks County — follows the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the legendary demigod Maui embark on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as both learn to harness the power that lies within.

Disney’s Moana JR is directed and choreographed by Debbi Silas, past Reading Community Players president, who sees personal growth in the cast members.

“It is an ensemble based show with intricate locations and scenes flowing and ebbing,” Silas said in the release. “The cast is learning to form a bond supporting each other and working as a team. This collaborative effort is fundamental in producing and creating a unique product.”

The Chief Ancestors, portrayed by Ashlyn Green-Lewis, Aiden Oswald and Gillian Roth, left to right, show their wayfinding skills in the Reading Community Players production of Disney's Moana JR. (Photo courtesy of Debbi Silas)
The Chief Ancestors, portrayed by Ashlyn Green-Lewis, Aiden Oswald and Gillian Roth, left to right, show their wayfinding skills in the Reading Community Players production of Disney’s Moana JR. (Photo courtesy of Debbi Silas)

Children from ages 7 to 15 from several Berks County school districts make up the entire cast.

“The cast is comprised of students from diverse backgrounds, many who never would have met without this opportunity,” said Silas.

Musical director Kristen Bender enjoys bringing the theater experience to kids.

“Children are filled with boundless positivity and infectious enthusiasm. They feed off one another’s excitement. Witnessing their growth from week to week is inspiring and deeply rewarding,” Bender said.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors (65+). Tickets will be available online at https://millercenter.racc.edu/moana-jr or by calling the Box Office at 610-607-6270. Follow the Facebook page: Reading Community Players Stage.


Source: Berkshire mont

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