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Youth theater presents 'The Emperor's New Clothes'
new slt GBRC childrens-theater-MAIN
Village residents laugh at the Emperor (Matthew Zorn) in his underwear in this cast photo from The Emperors New Clothes. The Great Bend Recreation Commissions 18th annual summer theater production by youths can be seen Friday at the Crest Theater. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

A timeless tale of speaking up for what one knows to be true is the choice for this year’s youth summer theater production by the Great Bend Recreation Commission.
GBRC will present “The Emperor’s New Clothes” at 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at the Crest Theater, 1905 Lakin Ave. The program is open to the public and admission is free.
A summer theater production starring area children is a GBRC tradition, Director Paul Martin said. This retelling of Han Christian Andersen’s story of an emperor who gets dupe into believing he’s wearing magical clothes – and the village people who go along with the hoax – has a timely message for kids today. Performers and the audience learn the dangers of greed and laziness, the honor of hard work and honesty, and are shown the bravery it takes to be the person to say, “The Emperor has no clothes.”
This year 23 children, ages 6-14, have been working on memorizing their lines and perfecting their performances during five weeks of rehearsal at the Great Bend Activity Center.
This is the 18th year for GBRC’s summer theater production. Lots of laughs are in store when Peter, Petra and Paddy, the mischievous tailors, come up with a sure-fire get-rich quick scheme to embarrass the vain Emperor and make off with a basket of jewels and gold.
Many of the children in this year’s cast have performed in previous productions for the Recreation Commission. The cast features: Caden Rowan, Alyssa Habash, Hannah Loomis, Hailey Hicks and Madison Jones as orchestra members; Isaac Avila, Malia Clark and Karson Higgins as the tailors; Aaron Clark as Grandmother Boguslavastya; Alyvia Mingenback, Sidney Cooper and Kiley Troyer as peddlers; Alex Smith as the blacksmith; Elly Somers, Marley Harris and Nicole Strecker as peasants; Kaidence Sanchez, Haley Troyer and Emma Loomis as ministers; Madelynn Gregg and Hayden Ensley as townspeople; Adrienne Willenberg as the Empress and Matthew Zorn as the Emperor.
Martin’s assistant directors are Tammy Bell and Carolyn Spracklin. Debra Koch, Lisa Turner and Tara Appel are stage assistants.