FLINT YOUTH THEATRE’S “GREAT EXPECTATIONS”: ‘PIP’ COMES OF AGE THROUGH THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF THE CHARLES DICKENS CLASSIC

FLINT – Flint Youth Theatre’s production of Great Expectations tells a story full of remarkable characters all shaping the coming-of-age journey of the young and ambitious “Pip.” Running July 22 through August 6, this is the fifth and final production in the
2010-2011 Signature Series with its season theme of RITES OF PASSAGE: Life Lessons and Stories About Coming of Age. Great Expectations is based on the novel by Charles Dickens as adapted by Barbara Field.

Great Expectations, faithfully brought to the stage from one of Charles Dickens’ most compelling novels, conveys all the energy and warmth of his richly human story. Beginning with his humble boyhood at the home of his long-suffering sister and her husband, the kindhearted Joe Gargery, the story follows Pip through his encounter with the escaped convict, Magwitch, his experiences with the bizarre Miss Havisham and her haughty ward Estella and on to his removal to London where, after his “expectations” are mysteriously made known, Pip aspires to become a gentleman. As a result of his adventures navigating through a class-obsessed society, Pip gives moving evidence that, in growing up, he has also come of age as a compassionate and altogether admirable human being. Great Expectations provides classic entertainment for families.

Great Expectations performances are Friday, July 22 and 29 and August 5 and Saturday, July 23 and 30 and August 6 at 7:30 P.M. with matinees on Thursday, July 28 and August 4 at 2:30 P.M. Performances are at Flint Youth Theatre, 1220 East Kearsley Street, on the campus of the Flint Cultural Center. Advance tickets are $12 for children, $14 for teens and seniors citizens and $16 for adults and are available at Flint Youth Theatre, by calling 810.237.1530 or online at FlintYouthTheatre.org. Day of performance tickets are $14 for children, $16 for teens and seniors citizens and $18 for adults. Great Expectations is recommended for ages 8 and up.

This production is directed by FYT Associate Artistic Director, Walter Hill, choreographed by FYT Associate Artist, Margaret A. Mead-Finizio and co-designed by FYT Executive Artistic Director, William P. Ward and Artistic Director Designate, Jeremy Winchester.

“We have wanted to produce Great Expectations for a long time but couldn’t find a really suitable adaptation until we found this one by Barbara Field,” said director, Walter Hill, FYT Associate Artistic Director. “It succeeds in telling the entire story of Pip and his ambition to become a gentleman exactly the way Dickens intended, keeping his brilliant language and all of his distinctive characters intact. Our production has 58 scenes, 26 actors playing a multitude of characters and is filled with authentic detail in costumes and props. We are working hard to tell the universal story found in Pip’s particular circumstances as he comes of age in the fascinating world of 19th-century London.”

Members of the Great Expectations production company include FYT Resident Artists, Andrea M. Anthony, Deirdre S. Baker, Rodney Creech and Jean McDaniel, FYT Junior Resident Artist Bary Lehr, FYT Guest Artists, LaTroy Childress, Kevin L. Dzurak, Karla Marie Froehlich, Algie Jenkins, Kody C. Jones, Mona Kosa, Gene Oliver, Shannon Olson, Char Pierson, Marwan Prince, Benjamin J. Segal, Ted Valley, Danielle L. Verkennes and Wynne Wood, FYT Apprentice, Haleigh Kent-Bryant and 15 middle and high school students from Flint and Genesee County.

On June 7 open auditions and technical interviews for Great Expectations were held for area students in grades 7 through 12 from Flint and Genesee County. 15 were selected to be a part of the Great Expectations student company. The selected students are part of a cast and crew totaling 38 artists.

Great Expectations is sponsored by The Flint Journal. Flint Youth Theatre’s 2010-2011 Signature Series, RITES OF PASSAGE: Life Lessons and Stories About Coming of Age, is generously supported by the Ruth Mott Foundation.

Kearsley Street is currently closed for improvements. When you come to FYT to attend a performance of Great Expectations, please use the Crapo Street entrance, just southwest of FYT, between the Flint Public Library and the old Central High School. Please call FYT at 810.237.1530 if you have any questions.

FYT’S GREAT EXPECTATIONS STUDENT CAST AND CREW HOMETOWNS:

Apprentice Company
Haleigh Kent-Bryant – Grand Blanc

Student Company                                            
Alexander B. Capasso – Orion
Olivia Desgrange – Flint
Alexis Harvey – Flint
Gloria Hrit – Grand Blanc
Pragya Khurana – Grand Blanc
Pedro Marin – Grand Blanc
Garrett Markgraf – Metamora
Dylan Raishe – Flint
Stephen Staten – Burton
Keenan T. Smith – Flint
Connor Svrcek – Owosso
Danielle Szabo – Flint
Logan Walker – Grand Blanc
Claire Walt – Burton

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