Monday, August 10, 2009

Kaleidoscope wraps up another year

Kaleidoscope 2009 came and went at the blink of an eye this year. The annual theater workshop for developmentally disabled adults presented "Take A Bite (Oh Applesauce)" last weekend to a near full house at the FSU Center of Performing Arts.

Since being introduced to the program two years ago, I've always looked forward to Kaleidoscope's imaginative shows and equally imaginative actors.

This year, the crowd ate up every bit of the performance. On closing night, they clapped for every solo and every stage entrance. The 18-member company was all smiles as the applause rolled on. Actors in the show were from the Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities. They speny five weeks learning the ins and out of acting by rehearsing an original musical.

Co-founder Annie Morrison directed the show, which was written by Linda Blom, a participant of the first Kaleidoscope workshop held 15 years ago. Blom was in attendance for both performances. Her love of the "Fantasticks," "Oklahoma" and "Snow White" filled "Take A Bite," an adorable show that stars Amy Cross as Luisa. Luisa tries to get the guys in the show to eat a poison apple that will make them fall in love with her. The object of her affection: Matt/Booth, the hip Broadway choreographer played by Chris Swinehart.

The actors were a thrill to watch, especially during the musical numbers and dance scenes. One could tell they really liked the experience of putting on a show for the crowd. The group included Antonia Mercado, Teresa Troyer, Erik Esclangon, Bobby Jablonski, Jamie Roberts, Timmy Rogers, Charles Young, Bradley Morrall, Jon Brew, Kyle Gohl, Trevor Sturman, Holly Wooster, Rachel Wild, Sheryl Disher, Scarlett Whaley and Noah Grunes.

Kudos to the volunteers and others who helped.

My only compliant was the show wasn't long enough. I wanted to see more, and it seemed the audience did too as they lingered in the Mertz theater for a few extra minutes before leaving. I also missed looking at the art displays the participants use to have (there was only one this year). And I especially missed the comment section that was showcased with the artwork. It allowed audiences members write an encouraging note about the program to participants. I hope that returns for next year's show.

Otherwise, it's been another fun year watching the participants in this show bloom.

- January Holmes

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