Kindergarten life lessons take musical form

GENOA – For co-founder Debbie Davenport, the hardest part of directing The Genoa Children’s Theatre is deciding which musical to put on every summer.

“I read a lot of scripts and it takes a lot of time to decide,” she said, adding that she has to find something age-appropriate for her teenaged cast. “There’s a lot to consider.”

The musical Davenport, musical director Debbie Todd and props and costume designer Pam Whittenhall chose is “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Based on the 1988 best-selling book by Robert Fulghum, it’s a series of humorous essays about how life would be better if adults followed the basic rules of children.

Davenport calls the play “a scaled-down musical” with just six songs, compared to the 23 in last year’s show.

This particular musical, she said, will challenge the cast, all between the ages of 12 and 19, to use their imaginations in creating their characters. The performers are required be funny in some scenes and dramatic in others.

“We want to challenge them so they can grow as performers,” she said.

A new feature this year is live musical accompaniment.

During intermission, Davenport said three of the cast will create “a coffeehouse feel” by performing songs in the commons area.

“I thought it would be fun to showcase their talents,” she said.

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