Emily Cassulo

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Video: North Mississippi Kids Get Creative With Play

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — Dozens of North Mississippi kids are taking their creativity to a whole new level.

They’re a part of Project P.L.A.Y. – a children’s workshop and production the Starkville Community Theatre puts on each June.

Project P.L.A.Y. lets the kids’ imaginations run wild.

“I try to cater the plays to what they feel comfortable doing, and I find that after a few weeks, they become very comfortable that they take over the stage,” said Creative Director MJ Etua.

More than 40 children are performing in “Gracelyn and the Amazing Flycycle!” It’s an original play, influenced by one of Etua’s high school students.

“I decided to write a play about a young lady who has a little bit of trouble kind’ve finding herself, and she wants to make a statement to the world, and she wants to create something inventive and fun,” Etua said.

On Friday, the kids gave children from First United Methodist Church a preview of the play.

The students are learning more than just acting.

“What I try to do with these plays, is to get them involved not only in the writing of the plays, but also the costume design and the set design,” Etua said. “Everything that comes together with this play.”

“I really enjoy the experience, meeting new people, and meeting the new kids, and have them act for the first time,” said performer Abigayle Green.

Returning students say they also enjoy showing some of the newer actors the ropes.

“For the older kids, it’s just a fun time,” said performer Sarah Rendon. “We also get to help the younger actors get better, I guess, and it’s just a really good time for all of us.”

The kids have been putting on their show since Monday.

They’ll perform again at 7 p.m. Friday, and at 2 p.m., Saturday.