Local youths to be spotlighted in South Lake Tahoe play

Griffin Rogers
Local students audition for a role in The Amazing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe on Monday.
Griffin Rogers / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Goats, leopards, chameleons and tribespeople will appear at South Tahoe Middle School on Saturday as local youths star in the original adaptation of “The Amazing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.”

About 35 students will participate in the show, which features a boy stranded on an island with several animated creatures.

The event — presented by Tahoe Arts Project — is being organized by the Missoula Children’s Theater, a company that offers a weeklong acting program and the chance to perform in a play.

Students participating in this month’s show have been practicing daily since Monday’s auditions. The goal is to be ready by Saturday, when they will perform in two, one-hour-long shows.

“This is a really good group,” said Latreshia Lilly, an actor/director with the Missoula Children’s Theater. “They know when to work and when to have fun.”

Lilly said the program has several benefits: it teaches kids about responsibility and hard work, to name a couple. But it also provides valuable experience for students interested in acting careers.

“It sets them up for real job responsibilities,” she said.

Brandon Wilson, 11, and his sister, Kendall Wilson, 9, will be among the performers in Saturday’s show. It will be their first time in as Missoula Children’s Theater play.

“I like my part,” Brandon Wilson said. “It’s really fun to be a goat because he’s really funny.”

Kendall Wilson will be singing her way through the play as Stella, a stork.

“I’ve learned how plays work and how you have to practice over and over again,” she said.

Hundreds of kids have gone through the program since the Children’s Theater first came to South Shore, said Kwame Lilly, an actor/director for the Missoula Children’s Theater and husband to Latreshia Lilly. But the last time Robinson Crusoe played in town was six years ago.

Since then, some of the kids that once played chameleons are now taking on leading roles. It’s a nice to see, the couple said, and hopefully serves as testimony to the overall message of the program: to have fun.

“It’s fun to watch,” Latreshia Lilly said, “and it’s great to bring your family, too.”

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