Calling all children: “Aladdin” like you have never seen it

Maddy Jones, Author

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Children and parents alike will be able to watch and enjoy Palo Alto High School Theater Department’s adaptation of Aladdin retold from a whimsical and quirky perspective.

“It’s about 45 minutes in length, very lively and creative with minimal sets, fun costumes, multimedia, live and recorded sound effects and even some audience participation,” director Nancy Sauder said.

Showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sept. 29, and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Oct. 1, in the Haymarket Theater. The performances on Saturday are open to the public and the performances on Tuesday are only for visiting students. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door, while the student matinees on Tuesday will be free.

“We wanted to offer elementary schools in the district the opportunity to bring their students to Paly for student matinees at no charge,” Sauder said. “These types of performances are many times a child’s first experience of live theatre so it’s significant for all involved.”

According to Sauder, the play is aimed at a younger audience and will hopefully attract kids from the local elementary schools to come get a taste of what theater is like. While the play is aimed towards children, Sauder said that there will still be something in it for the parents viewing it too.

“Our goal was to give our high school actors the opportunity to play to young audiences, which is a highly rewarding experiences, and very different than playing primarily to adults,” Sauder said.

Aladdin has been adapted by Kathryn Shultz Miller for Paly’s Theater Department and will differ from the Disney version. The play features new “wacky characters” and some of the names of main characters are different, according to Sauder.

“It’s not a musical, but we have added some musical touches of our own,” Sauder said. “It’s a very creative and lively adaptation written by Kathryn Shultz Miller.”

The play features characters that are silly and is humorous, according to freshman cast member Claire Eberhart.
“The play itself is very whimsical and quirky,” Eberhart said. “And hopefully, we can interest some of the children watching to join theatre and maybe do [theater] at Paly down the line.”