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Youngsters Learn Their Shakespeare Early
Rio Arts wrapped up a five-day run of Twelfth Night on Sunday that matched each main show played by adults with a youth production staged by juniors of 18 and under.

While the youth version of Shakespeare in the Park was an abridged version, it was a full blown show incorporating more than 40 young people in all the theatrical skills from acting to producing to directing to stage management and costuming.

Joey Huestis produced the main show, Scott Harless directed and Casey Wayne Nevels wrote original music for it. For the youth show, abridged by Stacy Blevins from Shakespeare's original text, Crystal Manjarrez did the production and Ashley Edwards the direction.

The idea is to train the younger generation in Shakespeare, even to an appreciation of the Elizabethan language and knowledge of how 16th century actors moved about the stage, said Huestis, and the main show leaders acted as mentors for their younger protégés.