The students of Louisiana Tech’s theater department are wasting no time this winter quarter readying themselves for their next production.
But unlike most of their previous performances, they are getting a little help from the children of Lincoln Parish schools.
The theater’s production of “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” is set to debut Jan. 31 and will not only include Tech students, but also students from local schools from second grade and up.
“There is no true local child’s theater,” said Paul Crook, director of the play. “We saw an opportunity to provide it and were happy to do so.”
The play is not based on the popular Disney version, but the similar original children’s story included in the “Arabian Nights” collection.
When Aladdin finds a magic lamp, he summons a genie who grants him great wealth and the love of the Sultan’s daughter while an evil magician plots against him.
This is not the first time the theater department has enlisted the help of local school children to put on a production.
“We did the same thing with the play ‘Robin Hood’ in the winter of 2012,” Crooks said.
He also said this year the number of students wanting to attend the play has increased from roughly 1,300 students to about 2,000.
“We took what we learned from ‘Robin Hood’ and built on that,” he said. “We figured we were doing something right.”
The production includes 68 participants, 40 of whom are students from Lincoln Parish schools.
With so many children involved, Crook has four associate directors to help manage them all. Each associate director has been assigned a group of students to direct.
“Many of our students are wanting to go off and become directors,” he said. “This will be able to give them experience with helping people move through space.”
Cherrie Sciro, the production’s producer, said she wants to promote the arts in the students.
“We want to bring the theater in particular to the community in the school children age [group],” she said.
“We want to give the students the opportunity to have a variety.”
The play will run at 7:30 p.m. from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2 in Howard Auditorium.
Following the matinee on Feb. 2, guests who have purchased the “Adventures With Aladdin” tickets will be able to stay after the play and have a meet-and-greet with cast of the play.
Owners of the special pass will also be able to tour the stage, where members of the cast will help the students make their own craft project.
Students will have the opportunity to design either a magic lamp or sword.
Those interested in the play can follow the production’s progress on the theater department’s theater Facebook page, where short videos of the cast will be posted featuring the children involved in the play.
Email comments to cls...@latech.edu.