Fairbanks Academy of Children’s Theatre puts on “Matilda” musical

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 4:51 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Academy of Children’s Theatre (FACT) is presenting a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” starting November 5th.

According to Cloe Overacker, who plays Matilda’s friend Lavender, the show will have “lots of singing and dancing, of course. That’s kind of, like, the FACT way of doing things, lots of dances.”

The play is about a precocious girl who is unappreciated by her family. She is sent to a strict school ruled with an iron fist by its cruel headmistress.

Amber Shepard plays Miss Honey, a teacher at Matilda’s school. She said, “I think it’s about growing up and kind of trying to find your place along with finding people who you can love and build a family with.”

The young actors have spent months learning their lines and exploring their characters. “I always liked becoming a different person, so I could enjoy a different life aside from my own,” Overacker said.

Shepard explained, “I’ve never played a role like this before. I’m usually very loud and out-there, so it’s really fun to just play a nice, chill teach who’s really sweet and loving with the kids.”

Performing a musical comes with challenges. According to Jonathan Matz, who plays Bruce Bogtrotter, “Musicals are always harder than plays because we have to dance and sing, rather than just sing or just dance, because that always takes more energy and more concentration.”

But there’s always room for fun. “Whenever we do the song ‘Bruce,’ I just sat there and ate fake cake,” Matz said.

The play opens on Friday, November 5th, and runs for two weekends at the DeWild Theatre at West Valley High School.

Because the play is being performed on school property, audience members must wear masks.

More information and tickets can be found here.

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