Fairbanks theatre group prepares production of “Descendants”
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Academy of Children’s Theatre (FACT) is hard at work preparing to present a stage adaptation of “Descendants,” a 2015 television movie from Disney.
Cast member Isabelle Timmons said, “I loved Descendants. I really did. I know almost all of the songs in this musical, or just in the movies, by heart.”
The show features well-known villains from Disney’s past, including Maleficent, Jafar, and Cruella Devil.
These characters may not be quite the same as audiences remember, according to Amanda Hanson, who plays Cruella herself. “She’s crazy. She’s, like, cuckoo bananas, and she has her best friend, which is supposed to be a stuffed dalmatian on her shoulder, and she talks to it throughout the show, regardless of who’s around,” Hanson said. “It’s just this reimagining of these wonderful characters.”
The plot revolves around the children of many Disney characters coping with their parents’ enmity. “The descendants are the children of these, not just the villains, but also Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming, and Belle and the Beast.”
Caitlyn Overacker plays iconic villain Maleficent. “It’s all about not keeping people in the boxes we’ve put them in previously,” she said.
The cast and crew have worked for around six weeks to bring the production to life. “They’re incredibly talented, like some of the most talented kids I’ve ever worked with,” said Hanson.
The leads range in age from teen to adult, with younger performers from show classes appearing in smaller roles. While there are new faces in the cast, many have worked with FACT before. “I did “Little Mermaid” last spring, and then I did “Matilda” the previous fall,” explained Overacker.
“It’s a lot easier when you already know the people and you know your environment, and it helps to get into character faster,” Timmons said. The sophomore plays Mal, daughter of Maleficent. “The most challenging part is being mean. I like to laugh a lot, and so when someone says a funny line, I have to keep a straight face,” added Timmons.
The play runs at the DeWild Theater at West Valley High School for eight performances over two weekends starting Friday, March 24th.
More information can be found at the FACT theatre website.
Copyright 2023 KTVF. All rights reserved.