Stage & Dance

Family dynamic extends beyond Children’s Theatre’s summer musical

Director Jeremy Kisling and his wife, choreographer Amie Kisling, with their son, Leo, 2, on the set of the Summer Family Musical at Lexington Children’s Theatre. This year’s production is “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” They are among 10 families working on this year’s production.
Director Jeremy Kisling and his wife, choreographer Amie Kisling, with their son, Leo, 2, on the set of the Summer Family Musical at Lexington Children’s Theatre. This year’s production is “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” They are among 10 families working on this year’s production.

A successful play requires many elements to work well together at the Lexington Children’s Theatre. Whether you are acting on stage, playing in the orchestra or giving directons backstage, every role is important.

Carson Robinson, who portrayed Scuttle in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” during last year’s Summer Family Musical, will play violin in the orchestra this year. She is no longer center stage, but she understands that her new role is crucial.

“Your job is always going to be important,” she says. “It is just as fun.”

She is in LCT’s 16th annual Summer Family Musical, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” with her brother, Taggert Robinson, who will run a spotlight.

Taggert has been a part of the LCT family for many years, and he enjoys working with all of the families.

“It is a really fun environment. ... You feel like you’re a part of their family, and they are a part of yours,” he says.

Both Robinson siblings operated spotlights in the 2015 production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Another family active in the musical is the Kislings, who work at LCT.

I like to say that the Summer Family Musical created my family.

Jeremy Kisling, director

Jeremy and Amie Kisling have off-stage roles. Jeremy is the director of “Beauty and the Beast” and is LCT associate director in charge of education, and Amie, his wife, is the choreographer.

Jeremy has been at LCT since the first Summer Family Musical in 2002. He met Amie at LCT in 2004. “I like to say that the Summer Family Musical created my family,” he says.

They have a 2-year-old son named Leo. Sometimes, Leo tags along on set.

Jeremy enjoys working closely with his wife, who will join the faculty at the School for Creative and Performing Arts at Lafayette High School this fall after three years as the theater teacher at Bryan Station High School. They like to challenge each other, he says.

The family-themed event is one of their favorite projects every year. Past productions have included “Annie,” “Shrek” and “Seussical the Musical.”

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Children’s Theatre vocal director Shawn Sherwood warmed up the cast recently. This is his first summer musical. Matt Goins

This year, there are 10 families in the show, including the Sherwoods. Shawn is the vocal director at LCT, and his wife, Kellie, plays Mrs. Potts and is the music director for “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.,” an upcoming show in LCT’s Discovery series.

It’s Shawn’s first year at LCT, but Kellie played the villain, Ursula, in “Mermaid” last year.

Working with all the families is a “true joy,” Kellie said. “We all become one big family tree, with roots and branches that extend way beyond ourselves,” she says.

Shawn was able to see the magic that is LCT last year, while supporting his wife in her role.

We all become one big family tree, with roots and branches that extend way beyond ourselves.

Kellie Sherwood, actor

Being a part of the LCT family is wonderful, he says. “We have made friends and family for life.”

The end is tough. You spend almost every day for months with that “family,” and then you have to say goodbye, Kellie says. “You feel like you are losing a family member.”

The shows have become very popular: 190 people auditioned for roles in “Beauty and the Beast.” Those who didn’t make it had off-stage opportunities.

Those roles might seem small if they aren’t onstage, but everyone is essential, Jeremy Kisling says. “It takes every single person.”

He loves the group he is working with. “It is fun for me to watch the adults watch their kids,” he says.

Transitioning from offstage to onstage and back again hasn’t fazed Carson Robinson. She feels a part of the family like never before: “You don’t grow out of it. You are forever a part of the LCT family.”

If you go

‘Beauty and the Beast’

When: 7:30 p.m. July 20, 21; 2 p.m. July 22; 2 and 6:30 p.m. July 23

Where: Lexington Children’s Theatre, 418 W. Short St.

Tickets: $20 adults, $18 children

Online: LCTonstage.org

Call: 859-254-4546

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