Sun Lakes Community Children’s theater was started under the direction of Roger Edmonds, who also dramatized the stories. Our show for the first season was Horton Hatches an Egg, performed for the Kindergarten and 1st grade classes in the Chandler School District at each school. The children wrote us thank you letters, and the teachers invited us back the next year. The second year we produced The Fisherman and His Wife. Beginning with the 2012 season, we focused on Dr. Seuss, concentrating our performances around the month of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Seven years later we are still going strong.
Performances now include Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg which alternate every year. The group performs in Chandler elementary schools in January, February, and March, ending the week of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Bringing theater to the schools, especially those in underprivileged areas, allows students to experience live theater, often for the very first time.
Each year, we perform at about 22 schools and reach, on average, approximately 2,000 kindergarten and first grade students. In addition, we perform at the Sun Lakes annual Easter Parade held in Cottonwood. We also use these productions as a learning opportunity for many of our members who may never have acted on stage before. Over the years, we have increased the sophistication of our production with better costumes, portable sets and sound system. Our success is shown by the fact that schools rush to book our show each year before all the available time slots are taken.