OTTAWA — The Putnam County Children’s Theatre is set to debut its performance of “Lion King Jr.” this weekend. The first show took place on Thursday night, with three more set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s show will start at 7 p.m., while the shows on Saturday and Sunday will be matinee performances at 1 p.m.
After going more than a year without being able to put on shows, Children’s Theatre Vice President Jo Deskins says that “Lion King Jr.” is one of the biggest undertakings the group has put on in its 30-year history.
“We have a cast, including our stage crew of about 60 kids, and that’s from all over Putnam County,” she said. “Usually we pick one-hour performances and we have maybe 15 to 17 rehearsals, but this time being a little bigger, we had three nights a week that we rehearsed for a couple hours.”
The early stages of rehearsal were a challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions, leaving the directors to teach the script to small groups within the cast, little by little.
“We had a couple full cast rehearsals, but really until we came in last week, this was kind of like taking a jigsaw puzzle and putting the pieces together,” she said.
Deskins also said that she was impressed with how the entire cast has taken on their roles through the entire process.
“For those kids that this is their thing, this is their niche, it gives them an opportunity to shine and take the stage,” she said. “I like the fact that it gives them responsibility, like [Tuesday] I just sat there, and they did it. And that’s a pretty cool feeling.”
All shows will take place in the Ottawa-Glandorf High School Auditorium, 630 Glendale Avenue in Ottawa. Tickets are available for purchase for $5 at the Putnam YMCA.