A host of zany animal friends, joined by magical characters from a beloved children’s story, will come to life under the stage lights as the Santa Maria Civic Theatre proudly presents the annual FREE Summer Fairy Tales for kids of all ages, July 18-20 and July 25-27 in Santa Maria.
This year’s event will feature two unique and colorful productions: “With the wild things: Adventures in the Animal Kingdom,” an original piece written and directed by Sarah Willingham, and children’s classic “Pinocchio,” written by William Glennon and directed by Jackie Thompson. Shows, which are open to the public at no cost, run Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 1:30 pm and 7 pm, and Sundays at 1:30 pm.
“I'm really excited to be part of the Santa Maria Civic Theater Fairy Tales once again for the second time, this time directing a show,” said Thompson. “I am so excited to put on ‘Pinocchio’ alongside Sarah Willingham's ‘With the Wild Things.’ We have so much support and enthusiasm for our productions and I can't wait for the community to see them!”
“We are so excited for the kids and families of the Central Coast to see two bright, funny and entertaining children’s plays this summer,” added Willingham. “The Santa Maria Civic Theatre has been exposing young people to the arts through this wonderful program every summer since 1993, and we are truly honored to be continuing the tradition.
” This year’s fairy tales program features something new – the debut of an original children’s play about the adventures of two puppies in a wild and wonderful Animal Kingdom – and something classic - the beloved tale of the adventures of puppet Pinocchio as he strives to become a “real boy.”
“With the Wild Things” features an ensemble cast of veteran local actors, including Vince Surra as the parrot actor Neo, Taylor Glines and Mackenzie Coker as puppies lost in the woods, Steaphanee Wittlieb as Princess Pixie Dust, Angi Herrick as Court Jester Tigger, Steve Mahr as Captain Angry Tree and cranky cat ruler Lord Maximus, and Ashlee Wittlieb as the hip hop butterfly. The play includes several opportunities for kids in the audience to be chosen to come on stage and play various parts.
Pinocchio stars Elijah Herrick and Dante Surra in the title role. The talented cast is rounded out by Angi Herrick as the Blue Fairy, Vince Surra as Gepetto, Nancy Kunishige as Fire Eater, Erica York as Fox and Cyrus Ahyet and Daniel Rodriguez as Candlewick. “‘Pinocchio’ is one of my all time favorite fairy tales, and when I got an opportunity to direct a show, I couldn't refuse,” Thompson said. “‘Pinocchio’ by William Glennon is a wonderful, fascinating, energetic comedy that will leave the audience entertained. I am so very excited to be doing this show! My cast is everything that I could ask for as a director.”
The Santa Maria Civic Theatre, the “little theatre off Broadway,” is located at 1660 N. McClelland Street in Santa Maria. All Summer Fairy Tales shows are free and open to kids of all ages. For more information on the fairy tales, and the upcoming Santa Maria Civic Theatres season, please visitwww.smct.org or call the box office at (805) 922-4442.
NEO: Vince Surra
MATTIE: Taylor Gline
NIKKA: Mackenzie Coker
CAPTAIN ANGRY TREE: Noah Esquivel/Steve Mahr
PRINCESS PIXIE DUST: Steaphenee Wittlieb
SIR MAXIMUS: Steve Mahr
TIGGER: Angi Herrick
LEAD ENSEMBLE: Cagney Herrick (Vet), Daniel Rodriguez (Bear Cub Reporter), Ashlee (ensemble dancer)
ENSEMBLE: Liam Wittlieb, Leah Kern, Logan Kern, Analuisa Guzman, Julissa Guzman, Elijah Herrick
FIRE EATER: Nancy Kunishige
BLUE FAIRY: Angi Herrick
POLICEWOMAN: Steaphenee Wittlieb
ANTONIO: Conner Patzman
CANDLEWICK: Daniel Coker/Cyrus Ahyet
THREE PUPPETEERS: Noah Esquivel/Danielle Diaz, Cagney Herrick, Hannah Ratcliff
FOX: Erica Croff
CAT: Kasie Gurgiolo
GEPPETTO: Vince Surra
PINOCCHIO: Dante Surra/Elijah Herrick
HARLEQUIN: Maddy Bender
MISS ROSE: Mackenzie Coker
PUNCHINELLO: Taylor Glines
CLOWN: Noah Esquivel/Christian B. Schmidt