Artstarts to present The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Artstarts to present The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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The show starts at 7 p.m., on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 and at 2 p.m., on Nov. 19 Tickets are $15
Tara Janowick

The Marion Cultural and Civic Center features “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” this weekend, presented by the local theater company, ArtStarts.

The show starts at 7 p.m., on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 and at 2 p.m., on Nov. 19 Tickets are $15 and are available at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center website marionccc.com/hunchback17/, as well as at the door one hour prior to show times.

Directed by Joey Johnson of Murphysboro, with stage manager Marcia Miller of Marion, the show features a large cast, with leads double cast for different performances. Lily Jones, a junior at Carterville High School, is one of the split cast’s Esmereldas.

“Since I was a little girl I loved to sing. So when I first moved to Illinois my parents decided to get me private voice lessons. Then I was advised to audition for Artstarts 2011 production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, where I was cast as Jemima,” Jones said. “I have been doing community theater productions for about six years now.”

Lily also participates with other local production companies, as well as her high school theater, but feels ArtStarts is particularly special.

“I like how they choose shows that offer opportunities for all ages, like ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame,’” she said. “I think it is important that everyone gets to have an opportunity to be more involved with the arts.”

Senior at Carterville High School, Kyler Ogden plays one of the casts’ Quasimodos.

“The best thing about being Quasimodo is being able to tell this story of hope and how this character Quasimodo came from being alone and denied by the world, to finding one person who showed him love and hope,” Ogden said. “When I was cast as the role I was extremely excited but was also nervous, because by far, this has been the toughest role I’ve ever played. The hardest part about being Quasimodo is doing its character justice by displaying all of the emotions and qualities that Quasimodo possesses throughout the show.”

Kyler also feels that ArtStarts is special.

“I like that ArtStarts gives many opportunities to kids in our area, and has inspired so many throughout the years, and continues to do so through the arts,” he said.

ArtStarts is a local theater company, based out of Marion. It is a nonprofit organization, bringing the musical theater experience to children and youth from kindergarten through 12th grade. Their mission includes funding scholarships for students who seek degrees in art-related fields, giving students an opportunity to learn about theater by supporting community theater groups through coordination of volunteers and through financial support.

Be sure to come out and support ArtStarts and the whole cast this weekend! For more information, check out the Facebook event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/183126718901316/