By Laura Wade
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – This year Mainstage Center for the Arts has created a full season of shows. This is the first time Mainstage has done a full-year season.

This year’s season has consisted of “The Works of Shakespeare Unabridged,” the “Diary of Anne Frank” and “Godspell,” will continue with “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and “13: A New Musical,” and will finish in July with “Hairspray.” Mainstage is casting “13.”

“13” has yet to be performed in the South Jersey area. “13” is a new musical by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown. It’s a story about a young boy, Evan, who moves from New York City to a small town in Indiana and is forced to make new friends and deal with the events that come along with being the new kid in town. Auditions for the musical were held last Monday with callbacks happening the next day. The cast list went up very recently.

“Before auditions, word was going around that we were only casting young teens for the show because the characters are all 13, but that wasn’t the case. I wanted to make sure anyone who wanted to audition came out for the show. If they looked young and had a great audition, we took a second look at them,” said director Kevin Hurley.

More than 80 children came out to audition. Middle school and high school students from all over the South Jersey area were present. Only 20 were asked to come back for callbacks that took place Tuesday night. The cast consists of only 13 people.

“We’re really looking forward to putting on ‘13.’ Our season has been targeting a little bit of an older crowd and we’re ready to focus on our younger audience and really put on a great show for them,” said Co-Founder of Mainstage Ed Fiscella. “It’s a great segue into our summer season, which we are most known for.” This summer’s night show will be “Hairspray” and in the Summerstage program, the shows will be “Aladdin Jr.,” “Camp Rock” and “Annie Jr.”

“13” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. June 24 and 25 at the Dennis Flyer Theater in Lincoln Hall of the Blackwood campus of Camden County College. Tickets can be ordered on http://www.mainstage.org or by calling the Mainstage Center for the Arts office at (856) 232-1012.

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