As the school year nears, the slate of summer youth theater performances continue. On tap this weekend:
"The Wind in the Willows"
Bakersfield Community Theatre is presenting its youth production of "The Wind in the Willows," based on the classic book by Kenneth Grahame. The adaptation, written by T. James Belich, follows the same form, focusing on the friendship between animals.
With a penchant for motorcars, Toad (played by David Farrow) lands in hot water when he steals one. His friends — Mole (Darby Orr), Rat (Sydney Brunsell), Otter, (Wyatt Delano) and Badger (David Delano) — stick up for him and aim to protect his home, Toad Hall. Unfortunately, the troublesome Weasels (Sam Bowman, Josiah Miller and Ethan Farrow) and Ferrets (Darwin Wilkinson, Kiana Palomares and David Swan) oust them and take over the residence.
The show also features Silas Garcia, Noah Miller, Maxwell Sully, Christopher Bridges and Brooklyn Clayton.
This is the second youth workshop at Bakersfield Community Theatre this year, following "Once Upon a Wolf" in April. The actors were excellently directed by Rebecca Worley and Natalie Mercado, according to fellow workshop instructor Tim Fromm. They played games for characterization, focus, projection and even worked on lines during some days. Cast members, assisted by parents and volunteers helped paint the stage. They all have worked very hard and had a great time, Fromm said.
Performances run at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Aug. 5 at BCT, 2400 S. Chester Ave. Admission is $10 for those ages 5 and up. Call for reservations at 831-8114.
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
North of the River Junior Theatre kicks off its 50th season with the classic tale of the Missouri mischief-maker Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain's protagonist comes to life in the play based on his classic novel about a 14-year-old boy growing up in the heartland of America. Set in 1840 Missouri, the play follows the travails of young Tom Sawyer (Jaxon Willard), who matches wits with Aunt Polly (Belen Cazares), tricks his friends into whitewashing a fence for him and narrowly escapes the clutches of a murderous villain, all aided by best friend Huckleberry Finn (Brianna Baker) and love interest Becky Thatcher (Valynn Transmeier).
The show also features Yoly Cazares and Rachel Ramey.
Performances are 7 p.m. Friday and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Masonic Temple, 1920 18th St. Doors open a half-hour before show time. Admission is $10, $8 for children and seniors, and may be purchased online at norfun.org/tom-sawyer-performance or at the door.