Imagine preparing a stage show: selecting a cast; rehearsing actors; preparing them for songs, dances, places; overseeing costumes, the sewing, the fitting of each actor’s wardrobe; then there are the lights, sound, backdrops, sets, etc.
Now, imagine preparing this stage show with a cast of middle school students. Then, so more students can participate, imagine rotating casts so that one performance features sixth-graders in the principal roles, then seventh-graders for the next show, then eighth-graders for the third performance.
Valdosta Middle School Players Director Toni Jarvis does not have to imagine any of these things. She lives them.
If you want some small inkling of understanding what she’s undertaken look at the cast list accompanying this story. That’s a whole lot of performers.
Starting tonight, she sees all of these students and their work come together with the opening of VMS Players’ presentation of “Bugsy Malone Jr.,” a musical comedy written for children to play the roles of 1920s-era gangsters. The “Junior” designation means this production is an abbreviated version of the original show.
Tonight’s first show features the Valdosta Middle School sixth-grade class in the principal roles. Seventh-graders and eighth-graders star respectively in next week’s Thursday and Friday night shows.
On the nights when the students are not in the principal roles, they perform in the show’s company of performers. Still, with the rotating principal casts, Jarvis has spent numerous hours rehearsing the youngsters to cover each performance.
Between back stage, on stage and every stage in between, Jarvis has marshaled 135 students to produce “Bugsy Malone.”
THE CAST: Kameron Anderson, Jalen Smith, Will Correll, Laila Aleem, Mary Leigh Moseley, Zoe Martin, Alyssa Ridenour, Raquel Goddard, Julia Clark, Keelin Berrian, Tripp Fleming, Carl Bryant, Taylor Tolliver, Alyssa Barrett, Alizah Edwards, Alijah Patterson, Kaliece Bush, Michale Lawrence, Nya Bryant, Khaniah Johnson, Katie Lancaster, Teahana Brown, Abbie Baskin, Raven Ford, Savanna Foppe, Jodeci Mitchelle, Tatiyana Hill, Ke’Ashia Tucker, Chloe Northam, Emma Oaks, Katelyn Gann, Aldreonia Battle, Kaylee McCutchan, Quineisha Jackson, Jaylin Williams, Emma Jack, Madison Coleman, Nyanda Walker-Potts, Felicity Morrison, Dominique Goins, Erika Uneless, Caitlin Herring, Lorraine Roberts, Jade Sipplin, David Spikes, Isaac Taylor, Kaylin Peterson, Sarah Burton, Sarah Grace Harris, Jalonda Davis, Asha Caldwell, Ivy Tarver, Katelyn Gann, Quineisha Jackson, Kaylin Peterson, Nyeshia Harris, Tyeshia Harris, Makayla Navarre, McKenzie Dye, Felicity Morris, Nathalee Simoneau, Kathryn Plumb, Larisse Hogan, Madison Coleman, Chloe Northam, Dominique Goins, Nyanda Walker-Potts, Lorraine Roberts, Keashia Tucker, Emily Goodwin, Tatiyanna Hill, Raven Ford, Gabrielle Vincent, Zashanae Brinson, Rosalva Castillo, Jade Conway, Ira Davis, Quanta Edgecomb, Haleigh Henley, Hannah McAlpin, Elijah Norwood, Ishika Patel, Elizabeth Rigdon, Zariah Rockmore, Erica Rookard, Cara Sellers, Justice Smith, Aysia Williams, Rianne Williams, Zakiya Worsley, Kaytlin Adams, Charisma Beasley, Gabrelle Burt, Rachel Carter, Gabrielle Forte, Kennedy Gillespie, Adrian Haines, Diamonique Henley, Aaliyah Hobbs, Crystal Howell, J’rni Kirkley, Shelby Knowles, Alicia Norwood, Keyara Page, Jordyn Austin, Secora Bradford, Carl Brown, Kelsei Brown, Travis Cross-Manhart, Nymirah Hummel, Emily Lieupo, Yazmine Lundy, Carrie Middlebrooks, Peyton Pickles, Jaylen Williams, Keshuna Baker, Brendon Brouillette, KyBreanna Jefferson, Savannah Keene, Morgan Lane, Marissa Lasher, Semajerae Phillips, Pandora Robinson, Lauren Swiney, Taren Bethea, Alicia Brown, Jordan Bunte, Kassidy Bunte, Elendra Cheffin, Camria Coleman, Sharya Covington, Adrian Dean, Adriana Hernandez, Tehja Hill, Kierra Mcgee, Alaishia Pye, Marshae Richards, Cloey Tackett, Christopher Washington.
DIRECTION, PRODUCTION: Toni Jarvis, director; Christina Walker-Potts, choreographer; Ben McTier, sound tech; Kailee Baskin, technical director, costumes; Shelby Doss, set lead; Katherine Littlejohn, lights; Madison Coleman, Chole Northman, Dominque Goins, Nyanda Walker-Potts, Lorraine Roberts, company captains; Lalia Aleem, Taylor Tolliver, Kameron Anderson, Keelin Berrian, Alijah Patterson, Nya Bryant, Alyssa Ridenour; Jacob Norris, fly lines; Sarah Burton, props; Sophia Noll, Priscilla Haskins, Mackenzie Blevins, Jacob Norris, Shelby Doss, stage ninjas.
Valdosta Middle School Players presents “Bugsy Malone Jr.”
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, March 13; 7 p.m., March 20-21.
Where: Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, 3101 N. Forrest St.
Ticket: $3, at the door.