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Published: Friday, 8/2/2013

THEATER

The emperor's new roles

'The Emperor’s New Clothes' translated from Russian by director, new roles created

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The entire cast of the Emperors New Clothes sings the play's closing song together. The entire cast of the Emperors New Clothes sings the play's closing song together.
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For the summer edition of the Sylvania Community Arts Commission Theater Workshop, its director, Irina Zaurov, translated The Emperor’s New Clothes from her mother-tongue, Russian, to a condensed English version that has additional roles for each student in the class.

Megan Dona, 10, center, laughs while she acts with her fellow campers during a practice of a play version of the Emperors New Clothes. Megan Dona, 10, center, laughs while she acts with her fellow campers during a practice of a play version of the Emperors New Clothes.
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“It was an easy play for a small cast,” she said. Mrs. Zaurov holds a degree in the performing and fine arts from Russia, and earned her theater degree from the University of Toledo. She has been teaching the course for eight years.

Jenine Ball, 12, center, reads her lines with a gusto. Jenine Ball, 12, center, reads her lines with a gusto.
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Last week, 11 students rehearsed the first act of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

Joseph Buerk, 11, left, Chole Schalk, 10, center, and Lynley Acres, 12, right, sing together. Joseph Buerk, 11, left, Chole Schalk, 10, center, and Lynley Acres, 12, right, sing together.
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“We will pull it off,” she said about having a week till this Thursday's performance.

The original child’s story had about three characters, the squandering emperor and two conniving tailors that dupe him into thinking they are creating a robe that can only be seen by intelligent people, when in fact he isn’t wearing anything at all. Mrs. Zaurov's version has additional cast members to accommodate the workshop participants. That includes a princess, and a count, among characters who surround the emperor.

The children, ranging from 9 to 17 years old, help make props, are taught how to express their rhyming dialogue with the right emotion, and learn stage direction during the two-week course that takes place at the Franciscan Center from 9 a.m. to noon.

“The rhyming isn’t that tricky,” said Sylvania resident Koby Weis. The 13-year old describes his character Count De Pompu as a “sly tricky type.”

For her part as the princess, Megan Dona, 10, finds inspiration in her older sister, Bridgette.

“My sister said that I should act like her,” she said. It’s the only time her sister, 14, has given her permission to call her annoying they joked. Megan chose the part of the annoying young princess because she knew she could pull it off.

The children will also learn how to put on dramatic theater makeup. Their public performance of the play starts at 10 a.m. Thursday, Franciscan Center, 6832 Convent Blvd. For more information visit www.sylvaniaarts.org.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com. 



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