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Pocket children's production of Disney's '101 Dalmations' starts tonight

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, 44 children from 10 local schools will approach the Pocket Community Theatre's stage — many for the first time — to perform a 30-minute musical of Disney's 101 Dalmations.

Tickets cost $5, and can be purchased here. Showings include tonight at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Snacks, including "K-9 crunch," will be sold at the shows.

Show director Sally Crain said the children have been working on the production for the past two weeks. Everything seen — from the set to the costumes — were facilitated by the children.

Crain said less than 10 children audiences will see on stage have been on stage prior to this experience.

"I love that you're seeing kids take chances that they’ve never taken before," Crain said. "I’ve got one of my leads who did not want to audition at all … and he had no idea that he has this beautiful musical gift.

"It’s so great to see kids get to discover what theatre is. It’s everyone’s first time, so kids are taking chances they wouldn’t otherwise take. Kids encourage each other to get out there and try things they’ve never done before."

Participating schools include Lakeside, Lake Hamilton, Hot Springs, Fountain Lake, All Children’s Academy, Benton, Cutter Morning Star, Jessieville, Park Magnet, Oaklawn and some home schools. The 44 children will be under the direction of Crain, Lakeside art teacher Jennifer Henley, Jessieville music teacher Teah Edgin and Lake Hamilton counselor Allison Callaway.

The show is sponsored by Temperance Hill Animal Hospital. Tickets sold for the show's "best seat in the house" raffle will be donated to the Garland County Humane Society.

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