Jefferson Street youth present 25th annual dinner theater

Published 12:38 am Sunday, April 13, 2008

For its 25th year, the Jefferson Street United Methodist Church Youth Group will serve dinner and hit the stage soon.

This year they will be performing “Pride and Prejudice” for its annual dinner theater, this Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s cast features 26 youth, ranging from a few junior high students to mostly high school students.

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Each year’s play contains a character-building theme.

Youth group coordinator and play director John Hudson said the plays are a good way for the youth to glean morality lessons.

“We want kids in our theater to experience something that deals with an internal human truth,” Hudson said. “In this case it’s ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ fighting for the happiness that God wants for us and the courage to stand up against the monsters of evil.”

The performers started rehearsing in the middle of February and have been working exceptionally hard, Hudson said.

“They’re just doing a super job,” Hudson said.

The cast members wear multiple hats when it comes to the event.

Since the play is a dinner theater the cast members will serve the meal, making the experience interactive.

“One of the real benefits is they get to talk to the audience before they go on stage,” Hudson said.

Also, the cast members are in charge of creating the scenery, under the direction of parent volunteers.

“The parents work with us tremendously,” Hudson said. “They direct the kids in the scenery and it’s quite impressive.”

“It always amazes me, the work they do.”

Hudson said the seniors participating in the play will be highlighted, as they are graduating and many of them have been in four or five productions.

The dinner theater not only entertains its audience, but serves as a major fundraiser for the youth group.

Hudson said the money raised through the performances will go toward funding the youth’s summer activities.

In past years, the youth group has performed “Our Town,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The Crucible” and “The Skin of Our Teeth,” Hudson said.

Hudson said he and the cast members are excited about hitting the stage soon.

He said it’s hard to say they’re ready, just out of nervousness, but he feels that way every year and the kids always blow him away.

“We’re certainly excited to get it started and get it done and share what they’ve been working on for five weeks,” he said.

He said “Pride and Prejudice” will be an enjoyable play for a wide-ranging audience.

“It’s a delightful play, it’s a fast-moving play, the cast does a super job,” Hudson said. “I think people would really enjoy it.”

The performance will begin at 6 each night.

Tickets are $14 for adults. $12 for youth, $4 for children and can be purchased from one of the Jefferson Street UMC Youth group members or by calling the church at 601-442-3795.