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The Suburbanite
  • Spotlight Theatre inherits Theatre 8:15 legacy

  • For over a decade Theatre 8:15, across from the Green Post Office, was the center of a dynamic community theater experience for hundreds of local teens, adults, and families. Many went on to star in numerous stage productions at local high schools and local plays. Some helped to train others in dance studios around the area.

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  • For over a decade Theatre 8:15, across from the Green Post Office, was the center of a dynamic community theater experience for hundreds of local teens, adults, and families. Many went on to star in numerous stage productions at local high schools and local plays. Some helped to train others in dance studios around the area.
    After the annual Halloween performance in 2010, however, the productions came to an end due to a variety of issues.
     To keep the dream of Theatre 8:15 alive, several of the cadre of volunteers started Spotlight Theatre.
    Led by Dianne Mehok and Nate Smith the new group slowly built on the foundations and began to put on a series of productions using space rented from the Green local schools. It helped that a large number of Theatre 8:15 participants were from Green and the surrounding area. It was with this base that Spotlight began to take root.
     Over the years, Theatre 8:15 had involved families in its productions and this tradition has been carried on by Spotlight. While the bulk of the performers are children, parents do, at times, appear on stage. Green Superintendent Mike Nutter and his wife have participated in several summer performances with his children. Other parents provide backup and logistic support for what is truly a family-based theater production.
    Performers who worked under Mehok and Smith often come back to help with the choreography. They bring expertise and experience and it is under this direction that students learn life-long skills. They discover how to work together, learn responsibility and develop confidence.
    Recently, Spotlight was approached to do the Green Middle School (GMS) play. Mehok and Smith stepped up and recruited a large cast.
    “The students had a good time,” said Mehok. “For many of them it was their first time on stage and they learned first-hand the ups and downs of a live stage production. Hopefully, this will generate interest and they will continue to come back.”
    “They were a good group of kids to work with,” said Smith who has also worked in Hollywood. “We have drawn in a lot of new kids, along with some who have worked with us before. I think they all had a good experience.”
    Spotlight’s latest production, “Spotlight on Broadway,” features a variety of Broadway tunes. It will be presented at 8:15 p.m. April 6 and 2:15 p.m. April 7 in Green High School Auditorium. Ticket are $10 and can be obtained by calling 330-696-3717. For more information visit www.spotlightheatre.com.

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