Ten-year-old Noah Uhlenbrauck has only been acting for a little over a year, but he’s already a seasoned veteran on the stage. He’s participated in acting camps, and has performed in several plays, including "Jack and the Beanstalk," through The Drama Group theater.
In November, he tackles the role of Christopher Robin in the children’s production, “Winnie the Pooh and Friends: Birthday Tail.”
Uhlenbrauck loves the production.
“It’s a lot of fun. It has catchy music, and the songs are all really good,” said Uhlenbrauck, who is a fifth-grader at Illinois Lutheran Elementary School. “He is a boy kind of like me. It’s fun to go meet his friends in his own world.”
The production will be Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 at The Drama Group Studio Theater in Chicago Heights.
Charlie Misovye, the director of the production, said the one-hour show is perfect for children.
“It’s a perennial favorite about friendship and teamwork saving the day,” he said.
After the show, the audience is encouraged to ask questions and to get their picture taken with the characters. Misovye said it is a perfect introduction to theater for children.
“Live theater is different than watching movies. This kind of show gets them to appreciate that,” he said. “There’s a big difference with the emotional connection you get when the actors are in the room, performing their scenes.”
Dawn DeVries, who has been acting since she was 3, is an adult who plays Winnie the Pooh.
“I have loved Pooh since I was a little kid, and this show is about friends helping each other,” she said. “It’s a great experience for kids to see live theater. It takes a lot of energy to keep the kids involved. There’s no down time at all.”
The experience of acting in the shows gives the child actors a lot of real-world experience, as well, Misovye said.
“Acting is a great, interactive activity that promotes teamwork and builds self-esteem and confidence,” he said. “It gives child actors a sense of pride.”
The shows strive to be creative, fun and imaginative for both the actors and the audience, he said.
“We want to expose them to the magic of theater,” Misovye said. “The children of today become the (adult) audiences of tomorrow.”