Young thespians take to the stage for Kent event

The Hi-Liners DownStage Center announces a three-performance engagement of Disney’s “Mulan Jr.” July 11-13 at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, July 1, 2008 3:34pm
  • Life
Kent students

Kent students

The Hi-Liners DownStage Center announces a three-performance engagement of Disney’s “Mulan Jr.” July 11-13 at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center.

These performances highlight a couple of firsts for the Hi-Liners, a South King County non-profit youth theater company, based in Burien. This is its first time generating a production in the city of Kent and the first time it has been named the featured theater event for the Kent Cornucopia Days, sponsored by the Kent Lions.

Under the direction of Maggie Rasnick, guest director from Raleigh, N.C., and Hi-Liners Artistic Director Kathleen Edwards, 55 young people between the ages of 8 and 15 from Burien, Des Moines, Kent, Milton, Normandy Park, Renton and Seahurst auditioned for roles and committed to three weeks of four-hour-a-day rehearsals.

“These kids work really hard to learn the songs and dance numbers and a lot is expected of them,” Edwards said. “Even though some of the kids are very young, we expect them to work hard, and listen well to instructions from our production team. One of the rewards is seeing the kids gain confidence as their weeks of hard work pay off when they are part of a high quality stage production.”

Four students from Kent are part of the production. In her first lead role for DownStage Center, Brenna Kay O’Farrell, an eighth-grader from Meeker Junior High will portray Mulan, the loyal daughter with a fighting spirit. Mushu, the mischievous misfit dragon looking to reclaim his honor, will be played by Francesca Curry-Edwards, a sixth-grade student from Glenridge Elementary and a DownStage Center veteran. Also featured from Glenridge are two fifth-graders, Victoria Cameron, as Lin, Mulan’s wise ancestor, and Dekker O’Farrell as Qian Po, Mulan’s soldier friend who is always looking for a peaceful conflict resolution, usually involving food. All four students are alumni of Kent’s Glenridge Elementary PTSA Drama Club.

Performances are 7 p.m. July 11 and 12, with a 3 p.m. matinee July 13. Admission is $10 per person, and tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.hi-liners.org. Tickets also can be purchased at the door with check or cash only.

The Hi-Liners are dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the performing arts in the lives of the students in South King County. DownStage Center is the Hi-Liners’ theater-education arm, presenting performance opportunities, as well as workshops with introductory, intermediate and advanced-level instruction for students (pre-K through college).

For more information visit www.hi-liners.org or phone 206-617-2152.


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