Haines City children’s theater hunts for child performers for a holiday show.

The upcoming Haines City Community Theatre Kids Show will look at Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” if it got rewritten by Dr. Seuss.

HAINES CITY – On Sunday, Kristy Moots spent hours at the Clay Cut Centre in downtown Haines City, talking to kids. Her main interest was how well the little ones could speak in the lingo of … Dr. Seuss.
Theodor Seuss Geisel is better known as Dr. Seuss, the author of such renowned children’s books like “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Moots is especially interested in Dr. Seuss now that she found a play called “A Suessified Christmas Carol,” by writer Peter Blodel, which is soon to be produced as a Haines City Community Theatre Kid’s Show – and, quite possibly, the last one that HCCT Kids will do on their current stage.
“We’re doing our show early this year,” said Moots, who will be directing the production tat runs in December, and who held auditions for it on Sunday.
“We usually do the children’s show during the summer, but we didn’t know if we’d have a building then,” she added. “We may not do a show next summer.”
In the meantime, Moots is looking to cast no fewer than 15 – and possibly twice that many – kids in this comedy that looks at the Charles Dickens classic as if it had been rewritten by Dr. Seuss, in that writer’s famous style.
“It’s the Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ told in Dr. Seuss rhymes,” she said. “It’s pretty funny.”
The auditions were held on Sunday for boys and girls ages eight to 17, for the show that will be performed on Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16.
That’s right around the time when Haines City celebrates the holiday season, she noted, while adding that the kids in the show are also likely to be performing in the city’s Christmas parade as well.
“The city has its Glitter, Glisten and Snow event, and Breakfast with Santa,” Moots said, adding that the event will also be a good opportunity to advertise the HCCT Kids production.
“I’m hoping we get a pretty good crowd,” she said. “For this show, we decided to have the production for three weekends, extending it for an extra weekend, and plus we do our show after the adult season is done, so I hope we get a lot of those regulars to come see this show as well.”
The kids chosen to perform in the play will be doing rehearsals several nights a week, as well as on weekends.
“If we double cast the show, we can do the show with as few as 15 kids,” Moots said. “So we will probably use 15 to 30 kids. It just depends on who comes to auditions. A lot of times, when the little kids get in with the teenagers, they get a little shy about standing out with their peers, while some do over-the-top stuff. Some kids are not willing to be over-the-top — they want to be a little more conservative because they’re around their friends.”
Moots knows one thing: this will be HCCT Kids’ final production at the Clay Cut Centre at 801 Ledwith Ave., their long-time base. The city gave the building back to the Polk County School Department, which plans to renovate it and make it a part of Daniel Jenkins Academy of Technology Middle School.
The theater company is now hunting for new space.
“We have access to use this building through the end of the adult season, and I don’t think we have access after that,” she said. “It may impact us not being able to do a children’s show next summer.”
Typically, theater seasons right from the fall into the spring.
Right now, the theater company is looking for a building in downtown Haines City or Lake Alfred that can hold up to 150 people and has high ceilings.
“We’re trying to keep the range to Lake Alfred and Haines City,” she said. “Most of the people who come to our shows are from that area. A lot of the storefronts in downtown are empty, so we’re going to look to see if that works. I think we have enough money in our treasury to build a stage if we need to. We’re hoping whatever we find, we can do a long term lease so we don’t have to worry about this year after year. I just don’t know if we’ll have everything ready by summer, so we said ‘Let’s go ahead and do the kids show this year.’ ”
To learn more about the show or the Christmas production, email Moots at rokrobster@yahoo.com.

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