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Archive for Thursday, March 4, 1999

THEATER

March 4, 1999

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A Lawrence actress has devoted her life to children's theater.

Two decades ago, Jennifer Glenn found herself in the right place at the right time.

The actress had just received her bachelor's degree in theater from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and had moved to Lawrence to work on her master's degree.

Through her mother she met a local actress who was performing with a new children's theater company.

"I was introduced to Ric Averill, who heads up the Seem-To-Be Players," Glenn said, recalling that she soon found a home with the company. "Now we are all grown up and do things professionally, but back then I just hung around the theater and started doing shows."

For more than 20 years, Glenn has performed with the troupe and will be on-stage Saturday for the company's latest production, "Seem-To-Be Superstars."

The one-hour performance will feature some "best of" material as well as singalongs, songs, vaudeville skits and a short original melodrama.

In addition to Glenn and Ric Averill, other performers include Jeanne Averill, Charles Higginson, Jeff Dearinger, Beth Dearinger, Becky Ford and Jerry Mitchell.

Over the years Glenn has received plenty of hands-on experience with the company.

"Twenty years ago it was really different," she said. "Lots of college-age students were doing shows and we probably did a show a month."

Glenn estimates that she has worked on or performed in more than 150 plays. She serves as the group's costume mistress, acts and directs at least one show each year.

Glenn has performed with the group's national touring company and acted with the Averills' summer vaudeville group at Apple Valley Farm at Perry Lake.

When not occupied with the troupe, Glenn teaches theater classes for children at the Lawrence Arts Center, 200 W. Ninth. Her latest arts center project is a children's performance of "The Canterbury Tales," which she adapted.

For Glenn, the stage is never boring -- even when she is re-creating earlier roles.

"Each play is its own unique situation. It is never the same," she said. "With each new set of kids it becomes a whole new show."

-- The Mag's phone message number is 832-7146. Send e-mail to jbiles@ljworld.com.

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