Patel Conservatory Youth Theater presents 'The Bear Went Over the Mountain' | Arts & Culture
Be prepared for a nearly unbearable dose of cuteness when the Patel Conservatory Youth Theater at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts presents the one-act musical, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, March 1-3 and 8-10 in the Straz Center’s TECO Theater.
This show, perfect for families with young children, will take you on a journey of friendship and adventure as it follows the restless and lively Da Bear on her exploration up the mountain to expand her horizons. She and her animal buddies will find more than they’d expected in this musical excursion.
Taking your children to The Bear Went Over the Mountain is a relatively inexpensive way to have them experience live theater - and for you all to have a great time together. I’ve been taking my children to see shows at the Patel Conservatory as long as they’ve been offered, and it’s always been a wonderful bonding experience.
The show will be directed by Amy Leavitt and Matthew Belopavlovich, and performed by Patel Conservatory Youth Theater students in grades two through four. Students have been taking classes preparing for the show since September. Leavitt has been teaching youth at the Patel Conservatory since it opened and has recently taken on costuming for PCYT productions. In addition to teaching drama at the Patel Conservatory, Leavitt works with children and youth as choreographer, director, costumer and set designer with Tampa Bay Family Theater. Belopavlovich is a full-time faculty member at the Patel Conservatory.
Ami Sallee, Patel Conservatory theater department chair, assures me the audience will be swept away on Da Bear’s journey, and they will leave the theater astounded that these performances were given by second to fourth graders.
Matthew Belopavlovich appreciates that this production is a perfect display of the age-appropriate content and techniques that should be taught to aspiring performers in grades two through four. “The audience will be delighted when they see students performing quality musical theater numbers rather than dance steps, music and story content that is inappropriate and stunts their growth as musical theater performers. For the first time in Patel Conservatory history, we have deliberately separated the elementary students from the middle school students in an effort to create production opportunities that also feature a strong learning component.”
Music director for The Bear Went Over the Mountain is Allison Novak, choreographer is Warren Levene, student director is Ian Burns and theater apprentice is Landon Green.
The Bear Went Over the Mountain John Higgins and John Jacobson. Jacobson, has staged hundreds of huge music festival ensembles, and is recognized internationally as a creative and motivating speaker for teachers and students involved in choral music education. He stars in children's musical and exercise videotapes, most recently the series "jJump! A Fitness Program for Children" and writes for John Jacobson’s Music Express Magazine.
The Bear Went Over the Mountain will run on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., Sat. March 3 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sat. March 10 at 7 p.m. Regularly priced tickets, now through Feb. 15, are $12. Beginning Feb. 16, regularly priced tickets start at $15.
As part of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the Patel Conservatory offers private lessons, summer camps and almost 100 classes year-round for children and adults of all ages and experience levels in all aspects of music, dance and theater. More information is available at www.patelconservatory.org and by calling 813.222.1002.