Marco Island Academy presents a two week-run of Disney’s Aladdin Jr., March 22-29. This uniquely staged, in-the-round production will be performed on the school campus’ outdoor pavilion (2255 San Marco Road, Marco Island, FL 34145) at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, and Thursday and Friday, March 28 and 29. All tickets are $10 and can be purchased by phone or online through ShowTix4U: 1-866-967-8167 or showtix4u.com/events/16229. Additional information on the production can be found at www.marcoislandacademy.org/thearts or on Facebook/Instagram: @MIAPerfArts.
MIA’s production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr. marks the second musical production in the school’s history, and the second production under the direction of Performing Arts Director, Christopher Dayett, who also directed last year’s sold-out production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” The production features a cast of 28 actors from Marco Island Academy, Marco Island Charter Middle School, and Tommie Barfield Elementary School. Performed outdoors on the campus’ pavilion, and staged in-the-round, the production aims to immerse the audience into the magical world of Aladdin by bringing the audience closer to the action. The cast and creative team have been rehearsing the production two to four days a week since November. They are currently in their final eight rehearsals before entering tech week, the week of rehearsals in which the cast rehearses in costumes for the first time, and rehearses on the set and under the stage lights.
MIA students taking this semester’s Theatre Production Design and Marketing course are taking ownership of the behind-the-scenes operations of the production, learning how to design, purchase, build, and paint pieces of the scenery and props, as well as learn costume design and construction. Students also learn how to budget, market, and run a box office. Almost 15% of the student body are participating on this production in some way, shape, or form.
The production is also bringing faculty and staff together. Christopher Dayett, MIA’s Performing Arts teacher, is at the musical’s helm as director, music director, designer, and co-choreographer. Assisting him with choreography is History/Law Studies teacher, Allison Blanco. Art/Photography teacher, Rob Eder, helps coordinate set and props painting. Science Department Chair, Katie Meanor, assists with props, costumes, and production notes. Dean of Students, Kevin Ray, serves as consultant on technical direction and scenic construction.
Sean White, a junior at MIA, plays the title role of Aladdin. “Honestly, it’s a really positive atmosphere, with an amazing cast, and a lot of excitement leading up to opening night. This is the first character I’ve really related to, I love the story, and this is the first time I’ve been a lead role and its super exciting.” White is a member of MIA’s Thespian Society Troupe 8628 and competed at the District 6 Thespians Festival in December where he earned several awards. He will be competing at the Florida State Thespians Festival on March 20, just two days before opening night.
Senior Anthony Politi, also a member of the Thespian Society, was ecstatic when he found out he would be playing Iago. “The character is such a goofy villain and an absolute blast to act as. I have a great time every rehearsal acting with my peers and messing around with new ideas to make the show more interesting. When rehearsals first started, I think we all realized how demanding this show would be for all of us which made me a bit worried about the opening of the show. But as time went on we’ve all gotten a better hold on how the show will work and how our characters act and I’m now really looking forward to the days of the show.”
Director Christopher Dayett, shares, “These feelings of excitement in anticipation echo throughout the entire cast, crew, creative team, faculty, staff, administration, and student body. Everyone is excited to bring this story to life and share this unique production to the Marco Island community.”