Kids run the ‘Remote Control’
Alice Kipp, Katherine Gjertsen and Clare MacCarthy rehearse for the Winnetka Children's Hour's production of "Remote Control," now showing at the Winnetka Community House. | PHOTO PROVIDED
Updated: February 7, 2013 9:06AM
WINNETKA — Children taking the stage at the Winnetka Community House are always excited as showtime nears, but to the actors of “Remote Control” this performance takes on a whole new meaning.
The 34-member cast, which has been rehearsing since December, can be considered the brains behind the production. Their ideas and specific talents were taken and the performance was written specifically for them.
“Your ideas come alive on stage,” said performer Katherine Gjertsen of Winnetka. “We’ve been in so many shows together and we finally made up a show. It’s been a lot of fun.”
“Remote Control” follows three snobby high school girls who are all in the running to be homecoming queen. Seeking revenge against the popular girls, a group of “science nerds” makes them disappear into a television. Using the remote to change channels the science nerds are able to place the three girls in a variety of commercials, infomercials and reality TV shows.
“We try to showcase the individual talents of the cast,” said co-director Anne Feeney. “We have a boy who plays violin, a boy who plays piano and a hula hooper. If you have an obscure talent we try to find a place for it.”
In addition to the performance all profits made from the three shows will be used to fund the Winnetka Children’s Hour’s outreach program.
“(Three years ago) we thought let’s bring performing arts to kids who don’t have access to it,” writer Gwen Oelerich said. “Our kids get to be teachers as well as performers while giving back.”
Last year the Winnetka Children’s Hour cast visited the Learn Charter School in Chicago to teach and perform improv, theater and dance with their students. Funds raised also brought an exotic animal act to over 100 kids at a local Boys & Girls Club and the actors hopes to be out and about in needy communities again this spring.
The cast of “Remote Control” will perform three shows beginning at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8 and a matinee show at 10 a.m. Feb. 9. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door of the Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave.
“I love how it’s so modern,” said performer Alice Kipp of Winnetka. “I think the audience will really connect to it. The kids put so much energy into every scene.”
With the rehearsals winding down the cast and staff are looking forward to entertaining the community once again.
“There’s a lot of dancing and it’s very child friendly,” Feeney said. “I don’t think you can get a better child friendly show than this.”
The Winnetka Children’s Hour is a non-profit organization and has been providing original performances for north shore families since 1932.