Theatre On A Mission Brings Disney To Alhambra



Theatre on a Mission presented an evening filled with songs and skits from Disney films on June 1, 2015 at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre as a fundraising event.

Sixteen energetic young adults will be going to Golfito, Costa Rica on June 23, to conduct a theatre camp for 350 or more elementary school students. The organization is a 501(c) non-profit group, whose members have taken their talents to Kenya on two previous trips, bringing theatre, as well as other changes, including a new village school and a fresh water system.

Students who will be traveling to Costa Rica made up the show’s cast, portraying characters from various movies, along with two Fairy Godmothers (Chelsey Cain and Danielle Glenn), who also directed the show.  The characters included Palace Boy (Nick Palmieri), Ariel (Casey Kalita), Snow White, (Victoria Wakefield), Cinderella (Sydney Yeoman), Prince Charming (Craig Cain), Elsa (Jackie Jones), Flynn Rider (Logan Smith), Fiona (Adea Reardon), and Sleeping Beauty (Ava Ancelin).

Mission02The Technical Crew included Technical Director Spencer Yeoman, Stage Manager Nicole Searcy, Assistant Stage Manager Annie Gardner, Sound Engineer Tinesha Tutt, and Videographer Mason Fyfe.

Shelly Cain, who assisted her daughter Chelsey in founding the group, was the unofficial master of ceremonies and handled the auctioning of donated items.

In addition to the comic skits by the cast, the show featured fifteen songs from Disney productions by an impressive group of current and former Douglas Anderson School of the Arts students; some are now college students. We had previously seen a number of the participants during appearances in productions at Douglas Anderson, and are looking forward to seeing those new to us on stage in the future.

The large crowd especially appreciated, as we did, the polished performance by Nicholas Sacks, former DA student, now at Carnegie Mellon in their musical theatre program. Sacks, who was very active in community theatre circles before he went on to Pittsburgh, is embarking on another exciting theatre experience, as he will be traveling to Australia to participate in a student exchange program..

Performing singers were Kiernan O’Connor, Bradley Betros, Ashley McDonald, Kamari Saxon, Hadley Parish-Cotton, Emily Suarez, Mallory Wintz, Logan Smith, Miranda Levo, Ana Puig, Dylan Tossavanien, Gino Liardo, Lauren Bell, and Joshua Johnson.

Ellen Milligan assisted on the piano with the music. The colorful costumes were the creation of the cast, assisted by Aston Palmieri.

The Alhambra Theatre, which is currently showing “Putnam County Spelling Bee” and is dark on Mondays, donated the use of the venue for this event. Owner Craig Smith also provided generous technical support with sound and lighting technicians.

It was an exciting evening with fantastic entertainment, homemade baked goodies available in the lobby, and Costa Rican coffee (yum yum, good), to go with them. A number of merchants donated many interesting items for the silent auction, which was quite popular.

This marvelous group still has a way to go to cover the expenses of transportation and lodging for the volunteers. To find out more about their story, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit; donations by check can also be mailed to 11517 Beacon Drive, Jacksonville, Florida, 32225. And for updates on their progress, check out their Facebook page.


About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.