‘The Hive’ sets young actors buzzing

Gale Jackson
Special to The Black Mountain News

Between Aug. 14-16, the Front Porch Theatre at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts will premier “The Hive,” an original children’s theater play written by Jessica Klarp and choreographed by Amy Maze, with original music composed by Zach Cooper. The team was behind last year’s successful original “JUMP!”

“The Hive” is an upbeat story that teaches about bee habitat and habits through acting and dance. In the story, Mr. Bumble relays the history of the hive with the help of a brood of little bees. They tell how the hive needs a new queen, but in the middle of elections, a couple of bumbling bears smell honey and threaten. Busy Bee comes up with an ingenious solution to the crisis, and the crown is passed to her.

This community theater production is being created by Black Mountain artists and performers. Klarp, the art center’s coordinator, has written several regionally produced plays including “JUMP!”, “The Anatomy of Melancholy” for P. O’Connor Puppets, “The Salt Crystal” with Red Herring Puppets and the comic melodrama “Beaucatcher.”

“We are so excited to give the talented children of our community an opportunity to act and dance on stage,” Klarp said. “Though the script is aimed at a young audience, there’s plenty for adults to enjoy as well. Zach’s music is jazzy and sophisticated, and the delightful choreography Amy has developed pushes the performers to a new level. I couldn’t be happier.”

Director and choreographer Maze for the past several years has been teaching regular dance classes at the arts center for students 3-16 years old. She also spearheads the center’s Summer Arts Camp sessions. Maze’s other choreography includes “Annie,” “Oliver,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Peter Pan,” “Cinderella” and most recently “Mary Poppins.”

Composer (and Black Mountain resident) Cooper is a recording artist whose work ranges from experimental and contemporary classical music to various styles of pop and dance music.

The cast is made up of Black Mountain children ranging from 4-14 including Victor Adams, Hunter Griffin, Annabelle Harrison, Adelaide Little, Bella and Ayden Mohr, Lucie Pittman, Wyatt Ramsey, Aubrey Sawyer, and Grace and Keira Williamson. Resident stage manager Grace Carter, 16, has worked in six Front Porch Theatre productions, having just wrapped up a successful run of “Steel Magnolias.”

For more, visit BlackMountainArts.org or call 669-0930.

Catch the buzz

What: The Hive

When: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14-15, 2 p.m. Aug. 16

Where: Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St.

Cost: $10 ($5 kids)