When Adam Linton, an 11-year-old student at Knoxdale Public School, found out that there wasn’t going to be a musical at his school this year he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I have always been into musical theatre,” Adam said, adding he has seen many Disney shows.
“I checked the website (for Disney’s licensing arm) and saw Aristocats,” he said. “My brother and I loved it, so we got the licensing and went to work.”
Adam is going to play Edgar the Butler, who gets jealous of Madame’s aristocats and drops them off in the Parisian countryside to fend for themselves. He also enlisted the help of classmates and friends to complete the cast of 15. He said he had friends in mind for certain parts and the cast grew from there.
“I am excited about playing the butler; the bad guys seem to have all the fun,” he said.
It was more than simply getting a licence and getting some friends together. The Grade 6 student also had to organize renting the gym for the night of the performance and finding rehearsal space – not to mention doing the choreography.
“I tried to keep the numbers as simple as possible because some of the cast were beginners,” Adam said.
He said the whole thing has been a learning experience, one he hopes to repeat.
“I think next time we could do a compilation of songs,” he said. “Maybe the cast could grow to 20.”
Adam added that arranging the gym time and getting into the school newsletter to advertise was a bit daunting.
“It was a bit weird to send emails to the (school) board and everything. I mean I am only an 11-year-old kid,” he said.
In order to pay for the licensing and the gym rental, Adam borrowed his dad’s credit card.
But Adam said he hopes to have 140 people in the seats when the show opens on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m.
“I am hoping to recover the costs and pay my dad back,” he said.
His father, Bruce, added that there would be refreshments for sale during the show to help increase revenue.
The whole family has really pitched in, with Adam’s mother helping with costumes and set design.
The cast has been practising every Sunday since September and is excited for opening night.
It’s easy to tell Bruce is proud of his son.
“Sometimes even as parents we don’t what our children our capable of,” he said. “It has been really amazing to watch him direct the whole thing.”
Tickets for the show are $5 for kids under 12 and $7 for adults. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and the box office opens half an hour earlier. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.