August 28, 2008

New Theater Group Geared at Teens

By Roni Gehlke

Anyone who has ever seen a theater stage adaptation of "Peter Pan" and remembers the fun of watching Peter fly across the stage in his green felt costume as he battles fearsome pirates and Captain Hook, will want to relive that excitement by attending "Peter Pan and Wendy" this weekend at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center in downtown Antioch.

The play is being presented by a new children's theater group in Antioch called Stage Right Conservatory Theater. Four local women started the theater troupe with children interested in acting and learning new skills.

"We're working on giving children the chance to work on getting different styles and different formats to prepare them for what it's like to work in acting one day," said Theresa Kelsey, one of the organizers of the group.

The four -- Linda Thompson, Teresa Bittner, Kami Stiles and Kelsey -- all had children of their own who had worked with another Antioch theater group over the years. While they were happy with the former production company, as the children aged their mothers decided that they wanted to give the kids the opportunity to work in more teen- and adult-oriented plays. They also hope to provide youths the ability to expand their talents through the performance arts.

"It's turned out to be a lot more work than we had originally thought it would be, but it has been worth it all," Kelsey said.

The members of the group are working to achieve their nonprofit status and are looking for volunteers to help with their productions.

With their first production, "Peter Pan and Wendy," already on its second weekend of performances, the group is already looking ahead at its next production, which will hold auditions from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10-11 at the Nick Rodriguez Center. Rehearsals for Clay Presley's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" start Sept. 15 and will run Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. This production will have a new guest director, which Kelsey said will help with the children's learning process, teaching them to work with different people.

Stage Right isn't only looking for young actors for their productions, though, Kelsey said. The group is also looking for anyone who would like to donate time to help with set and costume design.

The comedy/adventure "Peter Pan and Wendy" will be performed tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 925-216-4613, or at the door.

Originally published by Roni Gehlke , Correspondent.

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