Home Educators club offers ‘Gone with the Breeze’

Area home-school students rehearse for their upcoming performance in “Gone with the Breeze,” a musical based around late 1930s-era Hollywood.

Area home-school students rehearse for their upcoming performance in “Gone with the Breeze,” a musical based around late 1930s-era Hollywood. Photo by Kile Brewer.

  • What: JC Home Educators Teen Club “Gone with the Breeze”
  • When: Friday and Saturday (April 4-5) at 7 p.m. each evening, with 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday
  • Where: Selinger Centre in Jefferson City
  • Tickets: $6, with children younger than 3 admitted free; available at door or by calling (573) 230-1416.

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The annual spring show for JC Home Educators Teen Club is “Gone with the Breeze.” This is the 14th year the group has performed a show.

All students involved in the production are home-educated and everything is run by volunteer parents.

Director Stephanie Smith said student participants must be 13 years old and can perform until age 18.

This is a large cast (41) and crew (14) but the size is really a deliberate choice.

Smith said every student who auditions is given a part. Some want the larger roles because they enjoy performing before an audience but others prefer the smaller roles just to give them the experience and fun of being involved in a show.

Auditions were held in November and they had a few read-through sessions in November and December, but rehearsals really began in in January. The group rehearses once a week for about three hours at a time.

“Gone with the Breeze” isn’t a spoof on the movie “Gone with the Wind” but it is related in many ways. It is produced with the permission of Pioneer Drama Inc., and is the story of the talent hunt for Jezebel O’Toole, star of the new movie “Breeze.” Hundreds of aspiring actresses flock to auditions and the fun ensues.

“It is a real challenge to direct this group because of the various ages involved and the experience or lack of among the cast,” Smith said.

The show takes place in a movie studio and prop room. Smith said that a fun scene for the youths is the pageant scene that takes place in Savannah.

They have tried to be very authentic with costumes, and parents have manned the sewing machines to produce them.

The set crew painted a brick wall that Smith said is very realistic.

A particular challenge for the cast and crew is that they move into Selinger Centre, where the play is performed, four days before the production. The cast has to get used to the stage as the Parks and Recreation building where they rehearse has no stage.

Mila Moore is the producer of the show, and according to Smith, she is the one who takes care of the logistics and organization for the group. She deals with organizations and those helping to make everything work.

Moore has worked with Stained Glass Theatre as a director and tech director, so this is not a new experience for her.

“I would encourage the public to come see the show and support the kids and their efforts,” Moore said

This activity is not for a grade. The students volunteer their time for the fun and experience of performing.

When asked how the group pays for the performance, Smith said, “We have to make the shows pay for themselves through scrounging for anything we need and through ticket sales.”

“One of the things in amateur productions is a concept about it being dull or non-professional. People have come away from our productions with the feeling that they are quite entertaining and good. They are surprised at the professionalism,” Smith said.

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