Superior Arts Youth Theater play a treat this weekend

Has the latest wave of winter weather got you down? The Superior Arts Youth Theater has a treat to get you out of that rut this weekend.

With three casts including over 70 local youth performers, SAYT will present its second annual Play Festival at Northern Michigan University’s Forest Roberts Theatre and Panowski Black Box Theatre today through Sunday.

“This is a chance to see kids really excel at their acting skills and to support them in general,” said Jalina McClain, executive director of SAYT.

The first production in the festival is an adaptation of the classic German folk tale “Hansel and Gretel,” directed by Nathan Morgan, which follows the brother and sister lost in the forest after their trail of breadcrumbs disappears. This performance features students aged eighth grade and under. Awakening only to wander into the candy house of the Witch, the pair must use their wits to escape. “Hansel and Gretel” will be presented at 7 tonight at NMU’s Forest Roberts Theatre.

On Saturday, William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” directed by Teagan Strummer and performed by high school students, will be in the Panowski Black Box Theatre at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., as well as Sunday at 3 p.m.

Lastly, Randy Wyatt’s one-act comedy “Brave Little Tailor” performed by students fifth grade and under will be on Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Forest Roberts Theatre. SAYT alumni Taylor Koski is making her directorial debut on this production.

“That’s exciting for us to see someone who’s grown up with the program have their directing debut through the program,” said McClain.

Advanced tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students. Tickets purchased at the door will be $15 and $9. Tickets are available online at https://nmu.universitytickets.com/w/, by phone at 906-227-1032 or in person at any NMU ticketing outlet, including the Berry Events Center, University Bookstore, Superior Dome or the Forest Roberts Theatre.

“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to put themselves out there more and improve their confidence in that they have to give it their all,” said McClain. “We are really challenging them with the play festival. I hope people come out and support the kids because they have felt challenged and they’ve been having to put in tons of hard work. And they just really deserve the support.”

If you’re looking for an escape this weekend, the Play Festival is a perfect place to go.