Local theater group holds festival for Ridgeites and its kid actors and actresses

August 11, 2015 Faraz T. Toor
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The Narrows Community Theater (NCT) hosted a festival for Bay Ridge at Owl’s Head Park on Sunday, August 9 to bring the community together and promote its upcoming kids musical.

“We wanted to do an event to create buzz around our show, and we’ve got good turnout,” director Jason Gotay said.

About 200 people converged at the park’s entrance Sunday afternoon for the Imagination Celebration, which featured free games, festivities and performances for the community.

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“It brings people together so they can connect with each other,” Margaret McMahon, NCT’s vice president, said. “We always like to do things within the community.”

NCT, a local nonprofit community theater group which has a summer program for kids, also invited its young actors and actresses, along with their families and friends, provided them with contests and a magic show, and led them in participatory games, such as Steal the Bacon.

“The kids are having a great time,” Gwen D’Amico, a Bay Ridge resident, said. “That’s what matters.”

But the Imagination Celebration had another purpose, too: to create awareness about NCT’s services and its upcoming musical, “Seussical,” which its child actors and actresses will perform at the Fort Hamilton Army Base at the end of the month.

“It’s a good idea,” Ridgeite Frances Elsayed said. “The Narrows Community Theater has put on shows for years, so it’s good to get the word out and get new blood.”

To Gotay, the Imagination Celebration was also a good day for the children to pause from their work.

“I think the purpose of today is for the kids to let go a little bit of the rigid structure of rehearsal, and unwind and get to know each other,” he said.

NCT has operated since 1971 and is primarily an adult theater group with Ridgeite members who perform three to four shows a season. Four years ago, however, it started a summer program for children so they can put on one production of their own each year.

Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens composed “Seussical,” which debuted in November, 2000 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Manhattan and is a musical that mashes together the stories of numerous Dr. Seuss characters, such as Horton and the Grinch.


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