LIMA — “The Elevator Family,” a McDonald’s Youth Theatre production, opens tonight at Encore Theatre.
Directed by Cheryl Mulholland, the play is a presentation for children, by children. There are 15 kids in the cast, with the youngest being age 9. The assistant director is a senior in high school.
This is Mulholland's third youth play in the recent past at Encore.
"I enjoy the energy of the kids. I just enjoy being with kids," she said. "I think I like to teach things that I've learned in theater over the years and pass on that knowledge to other people.
"I just find it really fulfilling," Mulholland said.
The story of "The Elevator Family" began as a children's book by Douglas Evans, who adapted it for the stage. The play follows the story of the Wilson family — Walter, Winona, Whitney and Winslow, parents and a set of 10-year-old twins. The family tries to check in at a San Francisco hotel, but all the rooms are reserved. They decide to stay in the elevator, instead.
"It hearkens back to when I was a kid and you didn’t have to be afraid of anybody," Mulholland said. "People helped people, strangers. People would just chat with strangers. And that’s what this family is like."
Mulholland encouraged families to attend.
"This is a fun play. It’s just an enjoyable evening. It’s a wonderful value for your money, and I think all kids should be exposed to all kinds of different things," she said.