Cast members find several good reasons to be in youth production


The show is titled “30 Reasons Not to Be in a Play.”

Amaya Smith has found working with director Tanya Haas is one very good reason to be in the Main Street Productions’ youth production.

“I’ve really appreciated Tanya as our director,” Smith said. “I feel like she has been such a good influence on especially the younger actors and people that have less experience. She has so many creative ideas that she wants to bring to life. Her feedback is to the point, and it makes sense. It feels like she really cares about everyone.”

The performances are July 28 to Aug. 7 at Basile Westfield Playhouse.

Smith, who will be a Westfield High School junior, plays several roles, including Great Aunt Gladys and Mia. Smith previously appeared in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” which was the 2021 youth production at Basile Westfield Playhouse.

“That was a wonderful experience,” Smith said. “I met so many amazing people.”

Smith said the play should be entertaining for the audience.

“It’s a little bit over-the-top, it’s campy,” Smith said.

Smith’s neighbor, Ella Crites, who also will be a WHS junior, watched a video production of the show before auditioning.

“It wasn’t that funny,” Crites said. “I saw so much potential, but these people aren’t giving it (on the video). I’m very impressed with everyone here. Everyone here is making it a really fun show. Everyone here is doing amazing.”

Crites also appeared in “Meet Me in St. Louis” as was Liv Keslin, who will be a Zionsville Middle School seventh-grader. She plays five roles.

“There is probably going to be a one-minute distance between each of your laughs,” Keslin said. “The lines are always funny somehow. I really like the humor in this.”

In June, Haas, a Carmel resident, directed the Carmel Community Players’ Rising Stars production of “A Medley of Murders.”

This is Hass’ first time directing a youth play for Main Street Productions, but she played a role in a 2020 production of “The Monologue Show.”

“I was supposed to direct this show (in 2020), but because of COVID, this is not the type of show that could be done,” Haas said. “They opted to do a youth monologue show. There was a teacher in the cast that tied everything together, so they asked me to step in and be the teacher since I wasn’t interested in directing that.”

Haas said everyone in the cast of 19 plays multiple roles.

“The older, more experienced cast members play larger parts,” she said.

Five cast members, ages 7 to 12, are in their first play. Haas said the show is giving those five a chance to see what it’s like to be in a play.

“The older cast members help them out to make sure they know where they are going,” she said. “They are doing a good job so far.”

Other cast members from Westfield are Harrison Coon, Ella Crites, Clayton Crocker, Livy Crocker, Blake Fortier, Dylan Fortier, Sammy Geis, Isabella Hasseld and Annalisa Schuth. There are two cast members, Mia Gordon and Owen Hilger, from Noblesville and two, Tatyana Hobbs and Anastasia Hobbs, from Fishers. Neil Hackman is the lone Carmel cast member. Siblings Mason, Owen and Quinn Yeater are from Cicero.

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