Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

JRT Players begin second year of travel with children’s classic

Jonesborough Repertory Theatre considers itself a true community theatre, primarily made up of local volunteers who dedicate themselves to giving back to the region. Standing with that tradition, the theatre formed a traveling troupe of actors known as the JRT Players last year.
The JRT Players troupe takes theatre classics into regional schools, performing for students who may never have the opportunity to experience live theatre. Adding a more personal experience for the students, after every performance, the actors sit down with the students and answer questions about the show, acting and theatre in general. Study guides are also offered to schools to follow up on details about the show.
“This year we are going a step further with the JRT Players and visiting senior centers, libraries and assisted living facilities in our region,” Director of JRT Players Janette Gaines said. “We want everyone, especially those who cannot come to one of JRT’s main stage productions, to be able to enjoy live theatre. We want to teach children about the arts and get them interested in exploring theatre even more as they grow.”
Next on the JRT Players schedule is a spiced up twist to the classic story of Cinderella, with sharp wit, slapstick shenanigans and endless silly squabbles (including baguette fencing, laugh duels and slap fights). The JRT Players tell the classic story of Cinderella in a way that only commedia players can in this one-hour show traveling to area schools Monday through Friday, Nov. 17-21 and Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22-23. “Cinderella with the Commedia Players” will also take place on the JRT stage Friday, Nov. 21, at 9 s 1 and 11 a.m. for school groups and at 6 and 7:30 p.m. for the general public.
The JRT Players are modeled after “Commedia dell’Arte,” also known as Italian comedy. The comedies were a humorous theatrical presentation performed by professional players who traveled in troupes throughout Italy in the 16th century. When presented today, the commedia players are portrayed as poor travelers who have made all their props from objects they’ve found. 
The various talents of the actors’ acrobatics, dance, music, quick wit and insight into human nature all make the plays as entertaining and relevant today as they were to the people of Renaissance Europe, when commedia dell’arte was at its height of popularity, according to Pioneer Drama Service.
 “I think that’s what makes JRT Players so spontaneous and popular as they travel throughout the region,” Gaines said. “This style of performance engages the audience, it is physical and funny. I know our audiences will love it, and we plan to do more commedia shows with the Players.”
School shows will have a special ticket price of $3 per person. School show reservations must be made in advance by calling the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Box Office at 788-3403. 
Open performances of “Cinderella with the Commedia Players” presented by the JRT Players will take place on Nov. 21 at 6 and 7:30 p.m. for general audiences. Tickets will only be available at the door prior to the shows for $6.
 To schedule a performance either at your school, library, senior center or at Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, call 791-4440 or 788-3403.
 “Cinderella with the Commedia Players” is produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc.
“Spotlight on the Arts” is a column contributed by the Town of Jonesborough.