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S.T.E.A.M. Team

a Children’s Theater
by Topher Payne

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 4887

SHOWING : April 23, 2016 - April 23, 2016



Help Scout, Taylor, Elliot, Aubrey, and Misha solve a mystery at the science fair!

Perfect for ages 7-13 and their families.

Director Laurel Crowe
Elliot Ty Autry
Taylor Maggie Birgel
Misha Shelli Delgado
Aubrey Ali Gutierrez
Scout Robert Lee Hindsman
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S.L.E.A.M Team
by playgoer
Sunday, April 24, 2016
The acronym "STEAM" typically stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. In the title of Topher Payne’s new play, it stands more for the initials of the five characters: Scout, Taylor, Elliot, Aubrey, and Misha. The character names generally correspond to the associated acronym field (e.g., Scout for Science, Misha for Math), except for Taylor, whose main trait is Leadership rather than Technology.

The storyline brings Aubrey into an already established group (much as "Arts" has been added to the "STEM" acronym to make "STEAM"). A cat needs to be rescued from a tree, and it takes the help of all five characters to achieve their goal. As the kids grow up from fourth grade on, they grow apart until they are reunited to solve the mystery of how Misha’s winning science fair project was damaged. All ends well, with lessons learned by all.

Dusty Brown’s scenic design combines three tri-part screens, a backing curtain, and a couple of cubes. The cubes and all the screens are painted with blackboard paint, except for the main panel of the middle screen, which shows sprightly cartoon projections illustrated by Jacob Jones. The action involves a LOT of sketching with chalk, followed by erasures. It all works charmingly, with Dusty Brown’s sound design meshing seamlessly with the projections and the action. Teresa Bayo’s nifty props and Erin Bushko’s delightful costumes help to make this a visually appealing show.

Laurel Crowe’s direction keeps things popping. This is a very active show. All the actors create energetic characters, and they work together wonderfully well. Maggie Birgel imbues Taylor with all the good and bad traits of self-professed leadership, much as Robert Lee Hindsman combines science nerdiness with inner integrity. Alejandro Gutierrez does a bang-up job providing narration as Aubrey, and Ty Autry makes for as charming a sports jock as one could wish. Shelli Delgado geeks up her innate charm as Misha, and they all take turns playing the peanut butter-obsessed worst girl in class.

The laughs keep coming, the morals are as sugar-coated as breakfast cereal, and it all goes down easily. While this production is performed by adults for an audience of children, it’s well-suited for performance by children too. Given that the character names are all gender-neutral, it’s an easy show to cast. Expect a long future life. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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