Arts & Entertainment

ACT Repertory Co. debuts Sept. 12

There's a new company in town whose purpose is to strictly entertain you.

It's the Academy of Children's Theatre's new repertory company, which is made up of the theater group's most talented thespians.

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown will be the first of three productions the group will present this season. The other productions will be Little Women and Showdown at the Rainbow Ranch.

Repertory allows the director to work with the same actors in all productions in a planned theater season, which advances the skill level and growth of young actors, says Linda Hoffman, ACT's executive director.

"Creating a repertory company has long been a dream of mine," Hoffman said. "We can build on the strengths of the children involved, challenge their weaknesses, support their character decision and simply get to know a great group of kids."

Anne Spilman will direct the inaugural play, which opens Sept. 12.

Spilman is enthusiastic about this opportunity for young actors.

"The repertory company is unique in that with only three weeks to rehearse, the children in this group must maintain a focused and diligent rehearsal attitude," she said. "With such focus and effort, and with a small cast, we are able to dig a little deeper into building character and learning advanced theater skills than with a larger 40- to 60-member cast."

Though larger productions that entail using more participants is advantageous for more kids, the smaller repertory shows allow a greater growth period for budding actors, Spilman added.

"It is a dream that this group continues to thrive as an opportunity for youngsters who really find a passion and home in the theater arts," Spilman said. "And we hope that this group continues to have such a variety of ages, as it provides role models and mentors for the youngest members."

The actors in this newly formed group range in age from 10 to 17. Spilman and Hoffman hope to hone the newly-formed group into a true repertory, where the kids would perform multiple productions in the same weekend.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;