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Acorn Theatre brings “Tuck Everlasting” to Live Oak stage

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It’s a family classic that made its way from bookstores to movie screens, even to the Broadway stage. And now, “Tuck Everlasting” will be presented onstage by The Acorn Theatre, Live Oak Theatre’s Youth Theatre program that is for students ages 8-18. The Live Oak Theatre Company (LOT) is a not-for-profit 501 (C) (3) repertory company of local artists, located at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville. The Live Oak Theatre Company exists to enrich families, individuals, and the community by providing positive artistic experiences in the performing arts – including excellent, affordable, and edifying family-friendly entertainment, performance, and educational opportunities for theatre patrons and participants of all ages.

“Tuck Everlasting” will be performed on November 4, 6, 11-13, and 18-20 at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts. This production of “Tuck Everlasting” is sponsored by the Brooksville Kiwanis Foundation, and the music is sponsored by Redmile Appraisals.

“Tuck Everlasting,” based on the popular novel of the same name by Natalie Babbitt, tells the story of a family who drink water from a magical spring and become immortal. When they encounter a young girl who lives in their rural New England town, she becomes friends with one of the sons, who soon offers her the secret to everlasting life. She then must decide if she wants to join her new friends in immortality, or if she will live out her normal life. First published in 1975, “Tuck Everlasting” won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1978 and also garnered the Children’s Choice Book Award along with numerous other book award nominations.

This story was adapted three times for big and small screens in the years between 1981 to 2018. A 2002 version featured Sissy Spacek, Joshua Jackson, and Alexis Bledel. The stage version of “Tuck Everlasting” premiered in Atlanta, Georgia in 2015, and premiered on Broadway in 2016, where it received positive reviews.

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Now, a story that centers around the subject of eternal youth is being brought to the stage by a talented team of young people, and at a theatre that’s custom designed to showcase their talents!

The Acorn Theatre performance class meets to rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6:30 pm. The class runs in 8-week periods with 6 performances at the end of each term. The Acorn Theatre works together to produce and perform 3 shows each year, as well as participate in Brooksville’s Annual Tree Lighting.

“This is a totally student-driven production,” said Vince Vanni, VP and drama coach of this production. “The director/choreographer is 18, the assistant director and assistant choreographer are 17, and the ensemble coach is 18. I am the drama coach and provide oversight, but my role is totally advisory. This is all theirs.”

Many students involved in the production were inspired by the story of “Tuck Everlasting.” “Several of the students had read the book for school and were enchanted by the story and asked to do it this year,” said Vanni.

The Acorn Theatre production team consists of rotating directors/instructors who are assisted by a team of apprentices in the areas of stage manager, assistant director, costumes, choreography, lighting, sound, music, and set design. Parent volunteers are always welcomed in these areas as well. Acorn Theatre apprentices are chosen from regular performers of Live Oak productions who have “grown up” on their stage. They assume leadership roles in the production and mentor the students of the Youth Theatre.

For this production of “Tuck Everlasting,” Lexi Allocco is the student director in charge. “’Tuck Everlasting’ has a great meaning of showing the value of life and all its challenges and seasons,” she said. “The characters grow through the show in deep ways and in fun light-hearted ways! I believe having those two aspects together really helps this show be a wonderful option for our youth theatre production.”

Students have worked hard to leave an everlasting impression on audiences. “Between the characters having to act out a very detailed and deep story, the many dance numbers, and difficult singing numbers, the students have prepared through many music rehearsals, dance lessons/rehearsals and working on character development,” Allocco said. “We have scene work, music workshops, dance rehearsals, and even get together to work on a character trait of the week to help grow us as a cast. We have worked very hard on this production and can’t wait to bring this story to life for our audiences!”

Advanced seats for “Tuck Everlasting” are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 13 and under when accompanied by an adult. Friday and Saturday evening shows are at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 pm. Advanced prices are available up to approximately 24 hours before each performance. Twenty-four hours prior to showtime, ticket prices increase to $25 for adults and $15 for children with an accompanying adult. To purchase tickets, go to https://liveoaktheatre.square.site/ or email [email protected] or call 352-593-0027.

Please Note: If you purchase tickets under different names and wish to be seated together, you must email the box office at [email protected] or call 352-593-0027.

The book for this production is by Claudia Shear and Tim Federie. The music is by Chris Miller and Lyrics by Nathan Tysen.

Below is the cast of Tuck Everlasting:
Winnie Foster…………………..…..Evelyn Mitten
Jesse Tuck…………………..………Truman Rossiter
Mae Tuck..………..………………..Abigail DePriest
Miles Tuck..…………….…………..Micah Rossiter
Angus Tuck..………………………..Leif Rasmussen
Man in Yellow..………..…….……..Caleb Gunn
Hugo..………..……………………..Cam Kennedy, Titus Richards
Constable Joe..……..……….………Ross Copeland
Winnie’s Mother..…………………..Ava McCoy, Kaylee Umstead
Frog…………………………………Amber Marino
Chorus Ensemble Leader………..…Quincee Willis

Dance Ensemble:
Alannah Allocco, Amber Marino, Madison Frassrand, Reese Monroe, Rachel George, Adelle Richards, Caitee Grace Gunn, Titus Richards, Jase Ivie, Zeke Richards, Cam Kennedy, Leah Robitaille, Remi Lay, Bella Rossiter

Chorus Ensemble:
Natasha Berard, Nina McKissock, Leah Bolster, Jasper Monroe, Elyssa DePriest, Sarah Nguyen, Emily Ginther, Elli Noll, Kealy Hunter, Tatiana Peach, Katie Johnson, Molly Pianin, Noah King,Mia Quillen, Addie Ladouceur, Laurel Rasmussen, Cappy Lay, Samantha Sanborn, Eleana Lipidarov, Adah Stephens, Ava McCoy, Kaylee Umstead, Ava McKissock, Rowan Wilson, Cecilia McKissock

For more information about the Live Oak Theatre Company, including sponsorship and audition opportunities, go to www.LiveOakTheatre.org, email [email protected], or call 352-593-0027. Visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LiveOakTheatre.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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