Small stars shine in ‘The King and I’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Joanna Johnson isn’t shy about her love for the spotlight even if it is just for a minute.

Johnson, 10, is one of the many royal children in Natchez Little Theatre’s production of “The King and I.” And while Johnson knows her role is small, just one speaking line, that does nothing to dampen her spirits.

“I like being on stage with the lights,” she said. “It is just fun.”

This is Johnson’s second production and she is confident more are in her future.

“I love being on stage and the lights on me,” she said.

Johnson is sharing the stage with several other children who all take their roles very seriously.

Victoria Green, 10, is also in her second NLT production, and she said expressing herself on stage is one of her favorite things.

“I like to act,” Green said. “It’s a fun hobby.”

Green is also a royal child in the production.

Both Green and Johnson said they aren’t scared about taking stage because of all the hard work they have put into learning the play and their particular roles.

“I knew the story because we watched the cartoon version in music class at school,” Johnson said. “Now, I know almost all of the songs, I think.”

For Danielle Brown, 10, “The King and I,” is her first time on stage at Natchez Little Theatre and because of that she has a few nerves.

“It’s really fun,” she said. “It was kind of hard, but I’ve always like to act so it was fun.”

When the curtain opens tonight, family and friends will be in the audience and that worries Green, but just a little.

“You always want to do your best for your parents, but really you want to do your best all the time,” she said. “It’s hard to do better just because your parents are there, but you always try.”

Colby Passman, 9, said he was the veteran of the group even though he was a year younger than the girls, and offered a piece of advice for his stage mates. Passman is the ballet buddah, as well as one of the royal children.

“If you mess up, or anybody messes up, you just have to keep going like you didn’t notice,” he said.