With a cast of Santa Claus and around 100 “elves”, Theater for young actors (YAT) in Tallahassee opens ELF the musical Friday night for a two-weekend race. Buddy the elf exudes “sparklejollytwinklejingley” joy as he searches for his true identity.
The family story, based on the hit movie starring Will Ferrell, will kick off the 48th season of YAT. Students aged 9 to 18 will take the stage for performances on various dates from November 11 to 20, 2022.
The show marks a new era for YAT, as the grand pink theater on Glenview Drive has been completely renovated and upgraded for ADA accessibility.
The theater space now features updated lighting, sound, electrical and security systems, as well as new carpeting, paint, ceiling tiles and an expanded technical cabin. It also sports new seating with chairs donated by Tallahassee Community College. (YAT donated the original theater seats to the SoMo PlayHouse on S. Adams St.)
“The charitable donation of new chairs from Tallahassee Community College has served as a catalyst for much-needed improvements in our theater, which is widely used with daily classes, rehearsals and hundreds of showcases and performances each year,” says Executive Director Sarah Roy, who says the changes will allow young people to shine on the YAT stage for decades to come. “The outpouring of community support to complete the project in just ten weeks is beyond inspiring.”
To raise funds for the project, YAT’s “Take a Seat” campaign sold the naming rights to each chair. Audience members will see the names of contributors on each seat, including former stars Tony Hale, Cheryl Hines and Allison Miller.
Tickets for ELF the musical are on sale now and start at $15. Click here for more information.
Whereas ELF kicks off the new show season, YAT’s next project is a star-studded musical. Joni and the whale was written by Broadway vet and YAT alum David Reiser. It was originally developed in New York with artists from Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen and Bring it on.
The film is produced by Broadway premiere Elsa in FrozenCaissie Levy, and the main character of Anastasia on Broadway, Christy Altomare. Both Levy and Altomare will perform benefit concerts at YAT to support this immersive experience where students will learn how to create and perform in a musical.
The creative team on Joni and the whale features YAT alumni who have worked in Hollywood, the West End and Broadway. More information about the film project can be found here.