The Arkansaw Bear: Serious Theatre for KidsBy Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 15th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Artstream Onstage in their performance on The Arkansaw Bear; [MP3 .9MB 3:05] or read the transcript.
Laura: Tonight we saw the premier production of The Artstream Onstage in their performance on The Arkansaw Bear at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn.
Mike: The Arkansaw Bear is the story of a little girl named Tish who wants to visit her grandfather in the hospital. Her mother and aunt won’t let her in because he’s dying. She wants to know why he’s dying and to do something to keep him from dying. She runs away and makes a wish on a star to learn why he has to die. She meets the word’s greatest dancing bear. He helps Tish understand why people have to die. It’s a really nice story.
Laura: Yes, I really liked it. I thought everyone did a good job. It was a small cast; only six actors and actresses. They seemed to enjoy what they were doing and therefore so did the audience. I enjoyed the role of Tish, played by Anna Zimmerman. She did a really good job staying in character and reacting to the situations around her. She went back and forth from happy to sad.
Mike: She had the opening scene and had to carry it all by herself. She was first on stage and had to pretend to talk to the mother and the aunt who were just voices from above. She did that really well along with looking at different places on stage and running away from the situation.
Laura: She did very well.
Mike: I also liked the colorful costumes. This play is aimed at children five and up so the costumes were very bright and colorful. It was a simple set with simple props and nothing extra. Everything that was brought on stage was used.
Laura: I liked the set design very much. There was a tree near a hill and it looked realistic. The lighting was very good with the stars coming out. That was very good.
Mike: I was expecting all of the characters to be over the top, to look cartoonish, but they weren’t. I wasn’t looking forward to that, but they didn’t play it that way at all. The characters were all very believable. The bears were not dressed up like giant grizzly bears. They had little tufted ears and a tufted tail. It looked really good. I could believe they were bears. I think children could, too. Recommended for ages five and up. Children under five my not be able to sit through it, as the show is an hour long.
Laura: So that is the Arkansaw Bear playing through April 23rd at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.