See young guardian angels on stage in MLT youth performance

Telegraph correspondentDecember 20, 2013 

An all-kid cast will take theater-goers into the lives of guardian angels in the first staging of a new family-oriented play.

There will be three performances of “Angels ’R’ Us” this weekend at Macon Little Theatre.

“It’s a brand new script that not’s been presented anywhere before,” said Sylvia Haynie, who is directing the play.

The show is set on Cloud No. 4 in the main office of Guardian Central, where angels get their assignments.

“It takes place in an area of heaven where guardian angels are sent to protect people down on Earth,” Haynie said. “They are guardians that go down to protect adventurous humans ... and angels for people who love to read or play video games.”

A change in leadership mixes things up at Guardian Central as a new angel decides everybody needs to change jobs, she said. For example, a guardian angel who had watched babies has to switch with a guardian who was accustomed to following a rock-climbing human.

“It’s all about learning to appreciate each other and what our strengths are,” Haynie said.

The play was written by Elaine J. Watkins, who is local and has done other works for the group, Haynie said. The cast is made up of 23 students ranging from age 5 to 15.

“We always are looking for material at this time of year that’s fresh and new and an opportunity for young performers to all be involved, and for some of them their first speaking role on stage,” she said.

Macon Little Theatre was able to add this production to its schedule because there is an extra weekend between the end of the “Wizard of Oz” and Christmas, Haynie said.

“Typically, back in early October when we have auditions for our main stage play, we go ahead and let people know about the rehearsal schedule,” Haynie said.

This year they planned to have “Wizard of Oz” rehearsals during the week of Thanksgiving, and this meant families with travel plans couldn’t participate.

“This opportunity didn’t involve a rehearsal during that week,” Hayne said of “Angels ’R’ Us.”

The play also gives young actors another opportunity to be part of a stage production.

“We’re all about empowering the future generations,” she said. “We know the next generation of those auditioning for shows are those in the seats today.”

The production will include some pre-show caroling from area singers.

“I think when families bring their children to watch theater being presented by other children it’s empowering,” Haynie said. “It’s confidence-building for young people to see people who are their size up there performing.”

Angels ’R’ Us

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20-21; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 22

Where: Macon Little Theatre, 4220 Forsyth Road

Cost: $10 adults, $5 youth; box office opens 30 minutes prior to showtime

Information: 478-471-7529

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