Storytelling Theatre makes big debut at Polo Club.
Jeffery Kin, the artistic director of the Players Centre for Performing Arts, watched as more than 50 children filled the clubhouse at the Sarasota Polo Club to enjoy the first Storytelling Theatre at the Ranch (STAR) on Saturday morning.
"It lets you know you are doing something right," Kin said with a smile. "There is a need, and this is just the beginning."
As the Players Centre goes through preparations to build a $30 million theater complex at the new Waterside at Lakewood Ranch development, Kin and Managing Director and CEO Michelle Bianchi have been planning ways to have a presence in Lakewood Ranch. That move has begun with a program that blends live theater and encourages reading by pairing a book with a live performance based on the book.
Players actors Logan Junkins and Eliza Engle will portray Jack and Annie from the children’s book series “The Magic Tree House” throughout the STAR series, which will offer four performances this summer at the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch.
"This is great, wonderful," said East County's Saleha Hafiz, who brought her 5-year-old daughter, Zina, to the program. "It's nice they link the storytelling with the book. I also like the program because we need more things for the children and parents. It is important for the community. I can't wait for the theater to be functional."
The idea for STAR became a reality with the help of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch and its director of community relations, Monaca Onstad.