Teen actors head 'Back to the 80s' at Meridian Little Theatre

photos by Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Rylee Hailey and Adam Thaggard are among the many cast members in Meridian Little Theatre's “Back to the 80’s”, which runs Sept. 11-14.

“Get outta my dreams, get into my car.”

Meridian Little Theatre Front and Center teen division invites you to have a "radical" time as they present “Back to the 80’s”. This latest MLT production, which runs Sept. 11-14, showcases the talents of 33 cast members aged 13-19.

From the era that brought the world the Rubik’s Cube, Max Headroom and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this musical takes a nostalgic romp through the greatest hits of that decade.

Complete with a Star Wars dream sequence, high-energy dance routines, copious amounts of blue eyeshadow and 20 cans of hairspray, the production is sure to please the young and the young at heart.

Sidney Covington, president of the MLT Board of Directors, says patrons have made many requests to better serve our community's teenage demographic.

“This troupe is not to compete but to enhance the offerings of the theatre,” said Covington. “Our education committee realized that our teens didn’t have as many opportunities to perform in our mostly adult-cast plays. So, we issued an all-call and developed this six-week project, an absolutely delightful play.”

The show benefits from a dynamic duo of co-directors. Tiffany McGehee takes on the technical aspects of the play, such as acting and staging, and Courtney McDonald handles the music and vocals. In addition, Dixie Tibbetts is the choreographer, and Diane Freeman works as the coordinator for the musical.

McGehee is excited about the new MLT venture.

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“We have cast representing kids with all types of education, homeschooled students as well as public and private schools,” she said. “Some are new to the theatre, and some are seasoned actors from other plays. This is a fast-paced, fun musical with numbers ranging from Madonna to Michael Jackson.”

McDonald, the new theatre teacher at Southeast Middle School, agrees. “Front and Center is a new division of MLT, and we hope to have activities year-round for teens to participate in. We have been working on this project since July.”

Teen actors head 'Back to the 80s' at Meridian Little Theatre

Katie Morrow, Maddie Clayton, Nic Warden and Kaydence Patton rehearse for Meridian Little Theatre's “Back to the 80’s”. 

Mary Frances White, a ninth grader at Northeast High, is one of the dozens of cast members.

“We have a lot of moving pieces, but all of it flows together very well,” she said. “I’ve made many friends here, and all of the people are so nice and helpful. “Back to the 80s” is my first MLT production, but I hope it’s not my last.”

More information

“Back to the 80’s” runs Sept. 11-14 with shows at 7 p.m. nightly and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. There is no reserved seating, but tickets may be purchased at the door or at the MLT Box Office.

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