A handful of local performing arts students have ventured north of their hometowns to grace the spotlight on a special stage.
Three students from Owasso and four from Collinsville are among several area youth to be cast in this year’s upcoming summer production of “Matilda,” presented by the Children’s Musical Theater of Bartlesville.
“Matilda,” adapted from the Roald Dahl children’s book, tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
Schuyler Coleman, Emma Witten and Zachary Petty, all of Owasso, along with Kali Brown, Tavin Rezac, Vivan Brown and Marisol De La Rosa, all of Collinsville, will bring their entertainment talents to audiences of all ages at the Bartlesville Community Center, July 22-25.
Coleman, 13, is cast as part of Woodworm’s wild imagination, and incorporates her gymnastic skills to bring Dahl’s 33-year-old classic title to life in the theatrical realm.
“In a few scenes I do some tumbling,” said Coleman, who attends Owasso 7th Grade Center. “We help Matilda build in her stories … we help (her) grow in her mind too.”
Witten, a 17-year-old Rejoice Christian student, also plays a doctor in the first act of the production, and integrates similar attributes into her role.
“I basically deliver Matilda on stage at the beginning and talk about how life is amazing and everybody is a miracle, and then I dance for the rest of the show,” Witten said.
The two Owasso teens are among a large cast rounding out Woodworm’s mother, father and teenage brother; Miss Honey, the kindhearted teacher; and the villainous headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, to name a few prominent storybook characters.
When asked about her favorite part performing in “Matilda,” Coleman replied, “I just made a lot of friends with this, and I know the whole cast now.
Witten added, “It’s very family-oriented; it’s one huge big family. We all really love each other. I have a lot of new friends now, and it’s really great.”
“Matilda,” which premiered on Broadway in 2013 and was deemed “Broadway’s Biggest Little Hero,” will now enliven local audiences thanks to the dedication of cast members like Coleman and Witten, said Kristie Hewitt, executive director of Children’s Musical Theatre.
“These kids are obviously immensely talented, but I’m most proud of their dedication to always showing up on time to rehearsals and always giving 110%, even when they are exhausted from the long days.”
Tickets are on sale at the Bartlesville Community Center Box Office. Call 918-337-2787 or visit bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com/events-and-tickets.