May 27, 2022

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The Education Specialists

‘Blenderella’ shares clever twist on self-appreciate

ALTON — Leah Becoat, nearby playwright and founder of the 3 Purple Coats Productions theater enterprise, is at it again — this time with a new creation dependent loosely on her everyday living as a teenager struggling to “blend” or fit in.

“This is a story that will resonate with several,” she reported. “It’s a girl’s magical journey to self-really like and acceptance — which can also apply in a large amount of unique conditions. Freddie will have you singing the blues. Rudy the ringmaster will tickle your funny bone. And the green sisters will make you acquire a second glance in the mirror.”

Becoat reported that, as a teenager, she struggled with a skin issue. In “Blenderella,” Ella Monroe’s wrestle demonstrates her have journey via one particular of the most challenging occasions of her everyday living. It is mainly a tale of adversity that will introduce you to an array of colorful personalities, lecture rooms issues, challenging academics and some of life’s most meaningful classes.

“And this yr, I decided to enlist some support with the demonstrate,” Becoat mentioned. “So I hired Adrianna Jones to co-direct.”

Because of the pandemic, Jones was furloughed from Norwegian Cruise Strains. Becoat considered it was a excellent option for both equally of them if Jones lent her skills to the exhibit. She also plays Ella’s mom in the show.

“She has truly served elevate this display,” Becoat said.

Jones has a bachelor’s degree in musical theater from Webster College and is returning to university this fall to generate her master’s diploma in musical theater vocal pedagogy.

“The solid is made up of youth and adults that I have labored with in the earlier, alongside with a number of new customers,” Becoat claimed. “And it is our very first time possessing a varied forged, which is pretty exciting!”

“Blenderella” was initially scheduled for 2020, but COVID-19 transformed the designs. So, of program, Becoat mentioned one of her largest considerations once again this year was the pandemic.

“It was crucial that I retain the solid wholesome and protected,” she claimed. “Another concern was — these kids are busy! I could not retain up with the diverse schedules.”

Forged customers involve Kennedy Lacey as Emily, Sinaya Bruce as Ella, Emma Strohbeck as Danni (who is also the cast make-up artist), A’myiah Pittman as Haley and Rhonda, Gerad Bruce as David and Rudy the ringmaster, Heaven Everage as Liz, Charlie Williams as Charlie and Emmanuel Hickman as Lawrence. Some of the newest associates of the troupe are Crystal Robinson and Angelica Jones, among the many others.

Becoat said the show is not a traditional” musical. The actors sing, carry out spoken term and rap via about seven tracks — and the ensemble dances at the stop.

Becoat wrote the audio, and retired audio instructor Raynard Brown stepped in to enable prepare a few songs for Act 2. Ralph Monroe performs keyboard Dre McCrady is on percussion and Karyn Clanton is the background singer.

“I am so grateful for all of the forged, mothers and fathers and musicians,” Becoat stated. “It has been my dream to get a billboard for the youngsters, and this calendar year, I bought a single at 9th and Alby.”

Becoat — just one of the Class of 2021 YWCA Females of Difference honorees — usually has plenty of desires and projects in the functions. Just mainly because there was a pandemic very last 12 months didn’t signify that the prolific author, playwright and track author was not chaotic.

1 new substantial project involved considerable resourceful programming in a virtual structure to celebrate Black Record Thirty day period. The systems celebrated certain periods, experiences, African-American place residents and local companies owned by African Us residents.

Since the pandemic commenced, Becoat has been brainstorming for strategies to continue to keep leisure out there:

• In 2020, she wrote and manufactured the on the web method “May Mini Mysteries” in which viewers experienced to determine whose food items was liable for Suzanne’s foods poisoning.

• She also made “Hallowed Be Thy Goals,” where she interviewed many people today from the Alton location and requested exactly where they have been/are in relation to their dreams.

• She wrote, directed and filmed an informational video clip for Alton Part Nationwide Council of Negro Women.

• In July she received a $2,000 grant from Church Girls United for her do the job with 3 Purple Coats, which was utilized for technological products for the theater company.

• In December she received a $500 entrepreneur grant from LaMay’s Catering for her perform with 3 Purple Coats, which assisted fund the digital Black History Month undertaking and assistance with manufacturing charges for “Blendarella.”

“Most of the productions were filmed outdoors,” she said. “I did my very best to adhere to social distancing pointers.

“I was the digicam woman for all of the tasks, which was fairly a feat,” she said. “I realized a whole lot together the way and was established to complete what I started off.”

A grassroots generation organization, 3 Purple Coats Productions has been in procedure because 2013. It seeks to empower, educate and entertain via the performing arts.

“Blenderella” will be on stage at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 7, and at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 8, at the Hatheway Cultural Centre at Lewis and Clark Local community Faculty in Godfrey. Tickets are $15 for older people, $10 for learners 17 and more youthful. Doors open 30 minutes before showtimes. Attendees 65 and more mature, and the visually and/or listening to impaired will be furnished with specific seating.

For far more info on upcoming productions and donation alternatives with 3 Purple Coats, email [email protected]