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Young thespians present 'Mirette'

KEENE - A unique theatre production is engaging youth from this region in a fascinating stage experience, and their exploits will soon be on display for everyone.

Twenty youth, ages 8-15, will be performing "Mirette" Saturday, July 17, at 7 p.m. at Keene Central School as the culminating piece for "Putting it Together like the Pros," a week-long theatre workshop instituted specifically for youth.

Seasoned actor and Keene native Tyler Nye directs the show, which will be put together in a matter of just six days beginning Monday, July 12. Kathleen Recchia is the producer.

Mirette is based on the Caldecott Award-winning picture book "Mirette on the High Wire," by Emily Arnold McCully. It was transformed into a full-length musical by Elizabeth Diggs, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, the latter two being the creators of "The Fantasticks."

Set in 1890s Paris, the story of Mirette centers around a young girl who helps her mother run a boarding house for circus performers. Mirette's life takes an adventurous turn when a mysterious man moves in, a dark and brooding retired tightrope walker named Monsieur Bellini.

Mirette and urges Bellini to teach her his craft, even though her mother sings her to sleep with the practical advice, "Keep Your Feet Upon the Ground." In the end, it is Mirette who must help Bellini overcome the fear that forced him to retire.

The North Country youth production cast includes Liza Amirault, Sam Balzac, Peter Craig, Cassandra Day, Brian DeWalt, Olivia Jaques, Sydney Joanette, Sara Looney, Caitlyn Lopez, Trillium Macario, Colleen Mulvey, Athena Pepe, Trevon Robertson, Harvey Runyon, Ana Serjak, Elaina Smith, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Woltner, and James Winch.

While most of the youth hail from Jay, Keene, or Wilmington, a few are summer visitors from Massachusetts, New York City, and Rochester.

Both the youth workshop and show are sponsored by a Developing Community Arts Grant with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered locally by The Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks, a Stewart's Shops Holiday Match Grant in conjunction with East Branch Friends of the Arts, Between A&B Productions and the Book and Blanket Bed and Breakfast.

Admission to the performance is free, but donations are welcome. For more information, call 946-8323.

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