Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts welcomes Drifting Theatre’s Summer Actor Training Program and their production of “I Am Angel” to Jonesborough Repertory Theatre today and Saturday.
Written by local playwright Alaska Reece Vance, this dramatic story introduces Angel, an average teen struggling to find herself. Angel attempts to find her own voice in the world while overcoming common struggles for young adults such as bullying and creating your own identity. Kaitlynn Newcomb, cast as Angel’s inner voice, shares “I think people can relate to Angel and learn that it is OK to tell folks what is going on while deciding right from wrong.”
For the past six years, Drifting Theatre has brought professional theater artists from all over the country to teach and mentor young actors. These past two weeks, students have entered the Summer Actor Training Program to explore various avenues of performance. The program was created to be challenging, yet fun, cultivating an environment where both the seasoned actor and the stage-shy newcomer can blossom. Throughout their time together, students have not only been creating a performance piece, but they have participated in a variety of theater arts workshops.
The town of Jonesborough and Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts are EPIC programs. EPIC is a positive culture change, anti-bullying program based on inclusion, acceptance and celebration. Faculty and students in the Washington County School system and surrounding counties been trained in EPIC. Many of Jonesborough’s staff members and the Jonesborough community have been trained as well. “Jonesborough tries to focus on story weaving activities that help build tolerance, understanding and a sense of place for all segments of our population,” said Town Administrator Bob Browning.
The play, Vance said, “encourages teens to not be afraid of being different and to stand up for what they believe in. It involves a lot of movement, rhythm and poetry taught during camp. It’s a very active production and entertaining with a message for all ages.”
Portraying Angel is Jonesborough resident Reagan Bailey. “The message of the play is to be yourself and to not be pressured,” she said. “I really enjoy these camps because the instructors connect with me. I understand what they want.”
The cast includes Macy Allen, Bailey, Ashur Ballard, Will Bishop, Cameron Bullock, MaKayla Campbell, Aleah Chittum, Sunshine Hughes, Katrina Johnson, Riley Klucher, Autumn Lowe, Kaleb Lowe, Gavin Mann, Megan McCormick, Newcomb and Dru Rainey. Instructional staff in the cast includes Lacie Black, Farrah Carter, Natasha Trombly and Tinsley Long.
Production stage management is by Courtney Rasor. Choreography and sound design isby RaChelle Cheeks. Fight choreography and technical direction are by Chad Rasor. Lighting design is by Trung Phan. Costume design is by Natasha Trombly. Assistant stage management is by Lacie Black. Production assistants are Farrah Carter and Tinsley Long.
Performances of “I Am Angel” will take place at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre today and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for students and $5 for groups of 15 or more with advance reservations. Tickets can be purchased by calling 753-1010 or by visiting jonesboroughtheatre.com.