OLDSMAR — Only two weeks after the Oscars, the Oldsmar Performing Actors League is launching the careers of some of its own actors and actresses.
OPAL will be presenting its 14th play when it puts on “A Bag Full of Fables” on May 17 at 2 p.m. at the Cypress Forest Recreation Center and Park, 650 Pine Ave. N. in Oldsmar. The show, directed by Recreation Center Coordinator Leonard Newby, will feature five mini plays including, “The Fox and the Crow,” “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Fox and the Grapes,” “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” and “The Wind and the Sun.”
All five of the mini-plays are part of the Aesop’s Fables collection. They will be presented by nine kids at the rec center, two for each play, and a narrator who will introduce all five.
It’s the third production for Newby, who holds rehearsals once a week on Thursdays. He took over the OPAL group last year and has already been in charge of “The Hysterical History of the Trojan War” and “There’s a Ghost in My Locker.”
Newby, who hasn’t acted in awhile, said he is having a great time.
“You get a little nervous waiting to make sure that all the kids can remember their lines, but it’s been fun,” he said. “They come through when it counts. We’re just starting for the next production, and I wish we had more time. The kids are great to work with.”
Kids need no acting experience to participate, just a $45 entry fee. Shows are held at a stage that is set up in the gym. That stage will be put to use the next day for a dance recital.
Newby tries to juggle both shows.
“It can be kind of tough but we manage to get through it,” Newby said. “We give the kids so much to do here and it’s nice to see them getting involved.”
The one small problem is that fewer kids have been participating.
“We need to get more kids to come on out,” Newby said. “We used to have 18 to 20 kids come out. We need for the parents to let their kids get out of the house more and this is a great place for it.”
Newby is starting to plan for summer camps. There will be plenty of time outside and he promises one thing: no video games and limited television.