By NATALIE SCOTT
The AfterSchool Players, a group of children who attend AfterSchool Arts LLC, recently put on a musical based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” with music from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”
The Players last production was in October and they had been working on performing “The Nutcracker” since then.
“The AfterSchool Players consists of kids that are ages 5-13 years old and they are led by Jennifer Kuczek, who has been involved in the theater from a very young age,” said Danielle Surko, a recent addition to the AfterSchool Arts LLC team. “We met at a different after-school and Jennifer saw that her son, Jack, was not really into sports like some other kids and she really wanted to make a place that kids like him could go and be themselves. “
It is obvious from talking to the children involved in the AfterSchool Players that being involved in the theater has been very beneficial.
“I have more stage presence and more confidence in school,” said Joan Reardon, an eighth-grader at St. Charles School and student director for the Players. “Not only can I go on stage, but I can go back stage and know that I can do everything there, too. I love it – I get to meet so many kids from different schools. I definitely want to do drama club in high school.”
The AfterSchool Players puts on a production roughly once every other month. The next showing will be “Just Like Us” Feb. 22-23. For more information, visit www.afterschoolarts.com.