LOCAL STUDENT PERFORMS AT THE LEX
LHS graduate, Dalton Grafton, thrilled summer school students with his performance of the Magician and Sultan in a production of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp at The LEX. Dalton, a senior at UCM in Warrensburg, is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Performance. Commenting on the performance in Lexington, Dalton said “The audience today was lively and it was a great experience to see familiar faces out in the crowd, from my family to people I grew up and went to high school with.” At UCM Dalton played the lead in Tartuffe, and appeared as Simon Stimson in Our Town. “Overall, it was an honor and a thrill to come ‘full circle’ and entertain others in the community again.” Dalton is the son of Terry and Marilyn Grafton of Lexington.
This is the second year that The LEX has brought the Central Missouri Repertory Touring Productions to perform for summer school students as part of the mission of the Lexington Auditorium Association to engage youth in the arts that promote creativity and inspire success in education. Aladdin and the Magic Lamp was a lively, audience participation play with a fire-breathing dragon, a princess, and a tricky magician. Teaching materials were provided in advance of the play to prepare students for what they would experience and to use as follow up activities. Paula Neer, Title 1 Paraprofessional at LBS, expressed her appreciation for the show. “The performers were energetic and enthusiastic. The LBS students truly enjoyed the show of Aladdin, and I loved it, too,” said Paula.
CMR has been touring children’s theatre in the central Missouri region for over 35 years. This year the troupe performed the show in eight different locations including Lee’s Summit, Clinton, Richmond, and at Camp Wonderland in Lake Ozarks. The cast and crew numbered 13, including John Wilson, the show’s producer. Additional company members were the actors, director, company manager, an assistant company manager and sound board manager, stage manager, costume designer, costume shop manager, scenic designer and properties manager, and scene shop workers. “The UCM troupe was complimentary of The LEX and The LEX is eager to have them return,” said Abigail Tempel, Auditorium Association president. “We would love to see this program remain viable,” said John Wilson. He went on to say that the entire $20,000 annual CMR budget was eliminated as a response to the massive State appropriation cuts that came from the governor’s office this year. Unless funds are freed up to continue the program, the community outreach of touring productions will no longer be offered. “It will take more than a magic lamp to keep this program alive,” said one of the auditorium board members, “but we certainly would like to see them back again next year.”
The Lexington Auditorium Association is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide a facility for public use in support of economic growth, to improve quality of life by providing community activities, while also preserving, maintaining and improving the historically significant auditorium.