As audience members fill the small, rounded theater of the Rogers Children’s Theater, they may be surprised to find animals, not people, walking across the stage.
This is because Ian Wooldridge’s adaptation of “Animal Farm” has been chosen by Felicity Enas as the next major production for the Tyler Civic Theater Center.
“We are working on moving like an animal and learning to control our bodies to better our acting,” Enas said.
Enas has been working with the children’s theater for eight years and is excited about “Animal Farm” and all future productions.
George Orwell wrote “Animal Farm” in 1945 as a depiction of communism through the relationships between animals on a farm. This allegorical fairy tale shows how, in every aspect of life, there are higher authorities who fight to take command over everything.
The cast has no leading role, which gives the actors a sense of unity while working on the production and while relaxing and having fun.
Lisa Morgan, 15, enjoys being a part of RCT because “everyone is unified” and hasn’t found a theater program that is the same. Morgan will be playing the part of Major the Boar.
Tyler Civic Theater originally evolved from Tyler Little Theater, which was formed in 1927. The productions were performed on a speaker’s platform at Tyler High School and in the current Tyler Woman’s Building, but in 1939 erected its own building on the corner of Houston and Glenwood.
As soon as the war ended in 1949, Al Gillian founded Tyler Civic Theater and was named the first Resident Director.
In 1951, TCTC built a theater specifically for in-the-round productions, which gives the audience a more life-like feel to the performance. This is now the ever-popular Rogers Children’s Theater where “Animal Farm” will be performed.
An additional building was opened in 2001 and named Braithwaite Theatre. These two theaters together are what now make up Tyler Civic Theater.
“It’s a place where I can escape and be someone or something else while being with other actors and expressing myself,” said Kenny Davis, who is Boxer the cart horse in “Animal Farm.”
This year the Tyler Civic Theater Center is proud to be celebrating their 61st year in operation. Since it was founded in 1949, TCTC has continuously brought entertainment to Tyler through the productions it has preformed.
TCTC has had its share of highs and lows and even through tough economic times, they have yet to waver from putting on good shows.
President of the board of directors Ray Deal expressed excitement over new options in ticketing and productions coming in the spring season.
“We are planning on performing plays suitable for younger audiences and hoping this will attract more college-age students,” Deal said.
“Animal Farm” is set to open on Friday, Oct. 9 and is scheduled for 10 performances.
Tickets are $12 and student tickets are $10 with ID.
For more information on The Tyler Civic Theater Center schedules or ticketing, visit www.tylercivictheater.com.