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Theatre by the Sea kicked off its annual summer Children’s Festival last Friday morning with a rendition of Snow White performed by cast members from Kaleidoscope Theater. Above left, the evil stepmother played by Krystal Bly sings during the first act of the play.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Families from all over South County flocked to the Theatre by the Sea on Friday, July 5, for the opening of their annual Children’s Festival. On the stage that morning was Snow White, presented by Kaleidoscope Theatre.

“[The Children’s Festival] is a great way to introduce kids to the magic of live theatre,” admitted Theatre by the Sea’s Press Representative Karen Kessler.

The official synopsis for the show says, “amazing things happen when Snow White finds the little cottage in the woods,” and patrons of this sold out performance agreed.

Crosby Phillips, 4, of Narragansett Pier, summed up the experience by simply stating, “I loved it,” after getting her face painted as a butterfly after the show by Laurea Osborne. Osborne has been offering face painting at the festival for several years on a donation only basis.

Wakefield resident, Dawn Kotowicz, brought her four-year-old daughter to see Snow White. This was the Kotowiczes first Theatre by the Sea experience. “This is a good way to introduce my daughter to theatre, it’s close by and inexpensive,” she said.

Kotowicz grew up in New York attending Broadway so she is thankful for the opportunity to instill that same love for theatre into her young daughter right here in South County.

“Parents are very appreciative of our shows during the summertime because they are always looking for things for their kids to do and as a mother, I can attest to that,” noted Karen Kessler.

Children were also introduced to sign language during the show through Kaleidoscope Theatre’s special take on the classic tale. One of the seven dwarves, Dopey, was given the name “Friendly” and had a hearing impairment. There were also opportunities for audience participation during the performance, which provided an enriched experience for the young audience.

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Theatre by the Sea is celebrating 86 years of entertaining the South County communities this year. Their 2019 Children’s Festival is sponsored by The Original Vanilla Bean and their lineup includes Bubbleology with Keith Michael Johnson, a fan favorite in its 11th year; Little Red Riding Hood, presented by Kaleidoscope Theatre; and Magician Scott Jameson.

Before or after the show families can enjoy cold drinks, pizza and cookies, which will be available for purchase at the gazebo. The adjacent restaurant, Bistro by the Sea, will also be open for lunch beginning at 11:00 a.m. (Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 401.789.3030.

Theatre by the Sea also hosts a two-week summer camp at their Wakefield rehearsal studio where students, ages 10 to 16 of all skill levels, can learn acting, singing and dancing. The culmination of their work is a special show in the Children’s Festival series where the campers perform Aladdin Jr. This show has already sold so well that a third showing has been added. The camp show will take the stage on Friday, July 26, 2019, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Kessler admitted, “Our camp gives these kids an opportunity to perform in front of a live, paying audience. It’s a great training ground.”

For more information on Theatre by the Sea’s Children’s Festival, visit www.theatrebythesea.com.

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