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Former actor takes helm for pair of McKeesport Little Theater Juniors' shows

Carol Waterloo Frazier | Daily News - Starring in McKeesport Little Theater's Juniors one-act show 'Cinderella', from left, are Derek Jenkins as Coachman, Isaac Richardson as the Prince, Julia Lodge as Cinderalla, Brianna Williams as the Stepmother, Shannon Bocan as Stepsister 1 and Lydia Richardson as Stepsister 2.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Carol Waterloo Frazier | Daily News</em></div>Starring in McKeesport Little Theater's Juniors one-act show 'Cinderella', from left, are Derek Jenkins as Coachman, Isaac Richardson as the Prince, Julia Lodge as Cinderalla, Brianna Williams as the Stepmother, Shannon Bocan as Stepsister 1 and Lydia Richardson as Stepsister 2.
Carol Waterloo Frazier | Daily News - Leading the way in the Junior's production of 'The Court of King Arithmetic,' from left, are Matt Rydzak as Connor, Faith Rydzak as Lindsay, Michael Rydzak as the King, Natalie Butko as Lord Calculator and Chase Nicomatti as Sir Problem.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Carol Waterloo Frazier | Daily News</em></div>Leading the way in the Junior's production of 'The Court of King Arithmetic,' from left, are Matt Rydzak as Connor, Faith Rydzak as Lindsay, Michael Rydzak as the King, Natalie Butko as Lord Calculator and Chase Nicomatti as Sir Problem.

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‘Cinderella'/‘The Court of King Arithmetic'

Who: McKeesport Little Theater Juniors

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St., McKeesport

When: 7:30 p.m. June 13-14 and 20-21, 2 p.m. June 15 and 22

Details: 412-673-1100

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:29 p.m.
 

When the curtain goes up on the McKeesport Little Theater Juniors productions of two one-act plays this weekend, the young performers will be directed by a former peer.

Director Zach Miller takes the helm for “Cinderella” and “The Court of King Arithmetic.”

“This is unreal,” Miller said of the opportunity to direct for the Juniors. “I've been coming here for 10 years now, and it never crossed my mind until a year ago that I would be doing this.”

The Community College of Allegheny County acting student said Dorothy Fallows, who has been involved with MLT for many years, was in a show he directed at CCAC. “She said she liked what I did and asked me to do this.”

Miller said he hopes to study directing at Point Park University after completing his final semester at the West Mifflin campus.

In high school at Steel Valley, Miller was in the musical “Into the Woods.”

“That's when I decided I really liked theater, and I've done a lot of shows since then. But it's been a year since I've been in a full-length show, and I miss it a lot.”

The MLT Juniors range from fifth-graders to 19-year-olds. There are 15 aspiring performers who are in both one-act shows.

Miller describes the 15-minute “Arithmetic” as a “cautionary tale about the dangers of not learning math. All the characters are math-related. There are two characters who don't want to do math, and the king shows them the error of their ways.”

The longer — about 45 minutes — “Cinderella” is a retelling of the classic tale. “It starts when she runs away and loses her shoe,” he said, “then it goes back to the beginning to explain how she got to that point. It's a very fun show.”

Cast members include Julia Lodge, Brianna Williams, Faith Rydzak, Shannon Bocan, Lydia Richardson, Isaac Richardson, Derek Jenkins, Michael Rydzak, Carley Nicomatti, Gillian Holiday, Chase Nicomatti, Matthew Rydzak, Natalie Butko, Olivia Dempsey and Ceresa Morsaint.

Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1916, or cfrazier@tribweb.com.

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