Children’s Theater performs variation on The Music Man
More than 80 parents, relatives and friends filed into the Burlington County Footlighters Theater in Cinnaminson on March 11 and watched kids from 6 to 17 perform The Music Man Jr.
The Children’s Theater musical began with the familiar train from The Music Man pulling into River City, Iowa. A 30-member cast sang and danced to the show’s song, Seventy-Six Trombones. This year’s show had two casts – Trombone and Trumpet – and involved 60 youngsters from Cinnaminson, Delran, Marlton, Maple Shade and surrounding towns.
The show’s three co-directors – Jill Renbjor, Amanda Dranchak and Becky Moseley – all have a passion for the theater.
“I think this is a great training ground,” said Renbjor, a Footlighters veteran of 20 years, with 13 in the Children’s Theater. “The actors learn public speaking and also work with the stage crew on their off days.”
Dranchak – also part of the Footlighters for two decades – noted, “I think it’s great to be able to share the creativity we love so much with the children.”
“This is a passion for all of us,” said Moseley, who has been with the theater adjacent to Wood Park for 30 years. “It’s nice to be able to share that with our children, and other children as well. We have been together for so many years and enjoy working together.”
Trombone cast members were Matthew Ewing, Emily Hartshaw, Edward Grinnan, Isabella Foster, Elias Driscoll, Rosemarie Bianco, Noah Moyer, Molly Christine, Shaina Grinnan, Tommy Heneghan, Alana Smalls, Thomas Quinn, Abigail Sempier, Molly McIlhenny, Julianna Sumption, Stella Driscoll, Mary Quinn, Lauren Bobrin, Nicki Sano, Ryan Driscoll, Jasmyn Fratto, Claire Ingram, Sarah Grace Moyer, Ryleigh O’Donnell, Gabby Prince, Julian Prince, Nijah Robbs, Andi Sano and Madeline Van Reed.
The Trumpet cast consisted of Josh Moseley, Allison Desiderio, Michael Cramer, Clara Westfall, Samuel Dranchak, Emma Grant, Tristan Cogdell, Emily Seligman, Emme Renbjor, Jamison Graham, Mackenzie Miller, Owen Griffith, Dylan Griffith, Charlotte Dranchak, Kyleigh Filippone, Krisin Jewell, Natalie Coleman, Anna Mantone, Ryan Driscoll, Toby Cogdell, Robert Hill, Jovianne Meeker, Hailey Miller, Lanie Renbjor, Abby Ziegler and Sammy Ziegler.
The show this year was dedicated to one of the performers’’ peers, Maddie Harris, who passed away at 13 in November, after a five-year battle with brain cancer.
A picture of Harris was on the show program, with the following tribute:
“This show is dedicated to one of our own that we lost this year. This one’s for you sweet Maddie. We know you are smiling down on us. We love you, we miss you and you are forever in our hearts.”
Madison (Maddie) Marie Harris was a lifelong resident of Cinnaminson and an eighth grade student at Cinnaminson Middle School. Her love of performing inspired membership in the Footlighters, where she took the stage in Bye Bye Birdie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music and Moana Jr.
The Burlington County Footlighters’ theater is at 808 Ponoma Road in Cinnaminson. For information about its Children’s Theater program, or the main productions this year,
call (609) 829-7144 or go to www.bcfootlighters.com.