This is the fifth year the theater has collaborated with The Atlanta Children’s Theatre Company for the musical, which features two casts with a total of 24 local girls performing alongside three professional actors. The casts alternate performances.
Ella Anderson, a third grader at Arbor Montessori School, will play the lead role of Madeline in one of the casts.
Anderson, the 8-year-old daughter of Joanna Taliano and Mark Anderson, said she is excited about the show and enjoys the combination of singing, dancing and reciting lines. Her favorite part about the performance is the camaraderie of the cast.
“I like hanging out with the girls,” Ella said. “They’re all really fun and funny, and they always make me laugh.”
She said this is her first professional performance.
The other performers who attend school in DeKalb are Nadia Crawlle of 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue, Shira Davis of Sagamore Elementary School, Annabelle Didier of St. Thomas More Catholic School and Payton Gunner of Drew Charter School. All four are in the fifth grade. Kristen Gwock Silton, marketing manager with the Horizon Theatre Company, said the girls were among a group of more than 100 who auditioned for the show back in August. They have been rehearsing since October, on weekends and Monday nights.
“Every girl has some lines and maybe a solo line in a song or something like that,” she said.
The musical, directed by Spring Mason of The Atlanta Children’s Theatre Company, is based on Ludwig Bemelmans’ book “Madeline’s Christmas.”
“Madeline and her friends are on a trip to the zoo and forget their scarves, and so all the girls and Miss Clavel come down with the flu and they’re worried that they’re not going to be able to make it home for Christmas,” Silton said. “Then they have a mysterious, magical visitor who comes along and turns their holiday into this wonderful, magical experience.”
The show premieres Dec. 8 with shows at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children.
If you go:
What: “Madeline’s Christmas”
Where: Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta
When: Dec. 8 through 30; show times vary
Cost: $15 for adults and $12 for children
Contact: (404) 584-7450.