Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd

Children Shine in “Winnie the Pooh”

Callie Flatt as Tigger in “Winnie the Pooh” Photo courtesy of Jonathan Beck Reed

Dance Unlimited and Spotlight Academy collaborate on student productions.  This semester, “Winnie the Pooh” was presented by two different classes.  Spotlight Acting Academy, Broadway Babies presented “Winnie the Pooh” with a cast of children in the four-, five- and six-year age group, while the Razzle Dazzle class presented a more advanced version.

In addition to “Winnie the Pooh” there was a presentation of “Freaky Friday” by the Curtain Call Acting Class as well as the Totally Drama Acting Class and the Broadway Bound Class.  The advanced student production for “Chicago” was a full-fledged production with more advanced students.  The show is billed as “Chicago/Teen Version”

The production of “Winnie the Pooh” presented by the Broadway Babies at Spotlight Acting Academy was directed by Makenzie Boatright and Maya Cook.  Makenzie Boatright also wrote the book or adaptation for stage from the works by A. A. Milne and is also based on the Disney “Winnie the Pooh/Kids” version.  The music and Lyrics are by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. 

The cast of “Winnie the Pooh” included the usual characters we know and love as well as six Honey Bees.  Huntleigh Haynes played Winnie the Pooh, Hazel Brown played Piglet, Callie Flatt played Tigger, Jack Gautreaux played Rabbit, Liberty Foster played Eeyore, Rylynn Willis played Owl and Dax DeSpain played Christopher Robin.  The role of Roo/Pooh’s Tummy was portrayed by Avery Funke.

The adorable buzzing Honey Bees were played by Scarlett Edwards, Cash Buchanan, Channing Buchanan, Norah Hendrix, Lola Palmer and Lucy Wray.  Kelsi Seltenreich narrated.

This production was presented Sunday,  May 15 at 3:30 pm.  The staging took place on a beautiful set designed by Jonathan Beck Reed.  The play was presented by the entire cast standing in a line across the stage.  Center Stage an extension into the audience was placed with a single microphone where the cast members actually spoke their lines.  It was a long walk to the microphone for some of these young cast members!

Cast of Chicago at Spotlight. Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Beck Reed

The musical numbers allowed the children to perform in a more natural way and the Broadway Babies had six songs to sing.  While singing the children provided appropriate movement that was quite well paced, although there were a few delightful variations.  By far the song that seemed to be a favorite was “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers”, although all the songs were quite delightful.

Nevertheless, children in this age group are enjoyable performing at all times and this cast was certainly enjoyable.  Bee to bonnet, Bear to beehive, Winnie the Pooh and all the special friends of Christopher Robing all shined in their performances with bright eyes.  The event bolsters the confidence of future performers as well as students in general giving their school careers a leg up which is why classes are advisable for everyone, shy, outgoing, energetic or enthusiastic, children benefit from the experience.

While this semester is over, look for classes during the summer.  Summer productions are “Mary Poppins Jr” performed by Broadway Babies, Razzle Dazzle and Broadway Bound.  For information about acting classes conducted from Spotlight Academy or dance classes from Dance Unlimited visit www,  The facility is conveniently located on Hefner Road at 514 S. Bryant Avenue.

My Grantdaughter! Scarlett Edwards as a Bee in “Winnie the Pooh” at Spotlight Acting Academy. Photo courtesy of Elizaberh Hurd