Enchanting tale

‘Pinocchio’ and friends aim to delight theater fans

Uvalde Grand Opera House
Arin Joshi, who portrays Pinocchio in this year’s YouPop rendition of “Once Upon A Pine: The Adventures of Pinocchio,” smiles during rehearsals. Joshi and his fellow YouPop performers will present the live play this weekend at the Uvalde Grand Opera House

The community is invited to the Uvalde Grand Opera House this weekend to watch as a wooden puppet comes to life and sets out on an enchanting adventure in the Youth Players on the Plaza rendition of “Once Upon A Pine: The Adventures of Pinocchio.”

The theater troupe will take to the stage for three performances. Showtimes are set at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday as well as a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10-$15 and are available at the opera house box office or online at uvaldeoperahouse.org.

Autumn Wooten is directing this year’s play. Wooten has participated in numerous local productions, including “A Christmas Carol, A Live Radio Play,” “Broadway Comes to Uvalde,” and “Treasure Island.”

The play, which is an adaption of Carlo Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” tells the story of Geppetto, a toymaker who wishes to have a child to call his own.

“…He soon gets more than he bargained for when Pinocchio – a marionette carved from an enchanted log – springs to life before his eyes,” reads the synopsis on the Youth Plays website. “Once Upon a Pine reminds audiences of the importance of love, friendship and honesty.”

Caitlin Visel, opera house manager, said this play was perfect choice for a YouPop production.

“We love this play because it has every element you want to see in a live theater production: comedy, drama, music, and heartfelt moments that ground it in reality,” Visel said.

Youth Players on the Plaza has been a staple in Uvalde since the 1980s, when it was started by the Uvalde Police Department to keep children off the streets during the summers.

Uvalde Grand Opera House
Scotch, played by Kaydence Rodriguez, evaluates Pinocchio, who is portrayed by Arin Joshi, while performer Lauren Stevenson looks away. The scene took place last week during dress rehearsals for “Once Upon A Pine: The Adventures of Pinocchio,” which will be featured at the Uvalde Grand Opera House tomorrow and Saturday.

Cast / Crew

Arin Joshi is starring in the role of Pinocchio; Whitney Whipkey as Geppetto; Maddison Reyna as the Blue Haired Fairy; Guillermo Mancha III as Candlewick; and Sophia Fulcher as Maestro Mastrolly.

Also, Natalie Goggans in the role of Carabinieri; Luke Packer as Davey Cricket; Lauren Stevenson as Hop; and Kaydence Rodriguez is portraying Scotch as well as the voice of Bubbles.

Other performers include Marco Besares as Footman, and Samuel Fulcher as a Soldier; and Evelina Arreola as the Coachman.

The ensemble is composed of four cast members, including Luke Packer, R.C. Whipkey, Samuel Fulcher and Ella Packer.

Narrators include Riley Woodward, Marco Besares, Ella Packer, Samuel Fulcher, Sophia Fulcher and Natalie Goggans while performers include Lauren Stevenson, Natalie Goggans and Riley Woodward.

Yadnira Salinas and Yesenia Salina are the stage crew, and Marsha Wooten is the stage manager.

The Uvalde Grand Opera House is located at 104 W. North St. For more information, call 830-278-4184.