REENFIELD — They’re not your usual superheroes.
They have neither the quiet stoicism of Clark Kent or the values of Captain America. They’re rude, crude, conceited, and the city of Littleville has had enough.
In its 19th year, KidsPlay Inc. Children’s Theatre, an all-volunteer nonprofit troupe, presents the family-friendly play, “Team Justice and the City Hall Supervillains,” which features the rude and obnoxious Team Justice up against Dr. Dread and the Consortium of Darkness, super-powered villains who get themselves elected to Littleville city government in order to outlaw Team Justice.
Performances will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 13 at H.J. Ricks Centre for the Performing Arts, 122 W. Main St., Greenfield.
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“The villains have taken over the city by entangling its superheroes in a nightmare of tickets, citations, and bureaucratic red tape,” states a summary of the play included with the script. “The only way to repeal the supervillains’ nefarious legislation is for the arrogant, socially incompetent superheroes to somehow convince enough random citizens to sign a petition … without using their superpowers, which are now illegal.”
“Team Justice,” directed by Christine Schaefer and Dennis Cole, features the acting skills of a cast of 31 youngsters in third through eighth grade. A group of about 10 people will also perform a tap dance to the Batman theme as the opening act, directed by KidsPlay board member Frances Hall.
Olivia Greer, 10, who attends Mt. Comfort Elementary School, plays Esther Crinkle. Olivia described her character as a “sassy grandma” who is against Team Justice.
“I think it’s gonna turn out really good,” she said. “There’s a lot of really funny parts.”
The community theater organization charges its young actors no fees, but many of the participants’ parents volunteer their time to help keep the organization running, said assistant director Dennis Cole. He calls the group of dedicated parent volunteers the KidsPlay “machine,” because it’s a streamlined operations, he said.
“Everything has to be done by someone, and these parents understand they’re part of the show,” Cole said.
Brian Elliott, a KidsPlay board member and parent, has been helping with costumes and attends rehearsals to help out and watch his children, Brynn, 12, and Corbin, 10, learn their lines and staging.
Brynn got into theater by attending a KidsPlay summer camp but kept up and got Corbin involved as well, Brian Elliott said.
His children love KidsPlay because the productions chosen are often comedic, he said.
Kendra Olin of Indianapolis was among the parents helping out and observing rehearsal at a recent practice in the KidsPlay “dungeon” in the basement of the Memorial Building. Olin, whose son Wesley, 11, and daughter Katie, 8, are both KidsPlay members, said she began looking into the organization when Wesley told her he wanted to be an actor.
“It’s amazing to me that this is a volunteer-run organization that is very high-quality,” she said. “I was impressed with the enthusiasm and the ability to teach material that is age-appropriate.”
Katie Brown, 13, who attends Eastern Hancock Junior High School, plays “the chick,” a conceited and combative superhero who’s part of Team Justice.
Katie has performed in KidsPlay since she was in third grade, she said, but “Team Justice” is the first show she’s been in with so much comedy.
“It’s turning out really well,” she said. “This is, hands down, the best children’s theater in Indiana. It’s free, and it’s fun.”
KidsPlay Inc. Children’s Theatre presents “Team Justice and the City Hall Supervillains” at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 13 at H.J. Ricks Centre for the Performing Arts, 122 W. Main St., Greenfield.
Tickets are $5 each and are available at the door or at Hometown Comics, 1506 N. State St. For more information, call 317-477-ARTS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.