news live theater returns to kate collins middle school with into the woods jr

Live theater returns to Kate Collins Middle School stage with ‘Into the Woods Jr.’

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

Into the Woods Jr.
Photo courtesy Waynesboro Public Schools.

WAYNESBORO — Our wish has been granted. Live actors are returning to the stage. Kate Collins Middle and Waynesboro High school students will perform in “Into the Woods Jr.” the weekend before Thanksgiving.

“We have a strong cast for the show. It was the right show for the students,” said Flint Dollar, chorus director at Kate Collins Middle, of the show choice.

“Into the Woods Jr.” requires a smaller cast, 30 students, which will enable actors to social distance on stage.

Dollar said he reached out to freshmen at the high school who were students at Kate Collins Middle in November 2019 and performed in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” the last theater production held at the middle school before the pandemic began. Licensing requirements with “Into the Woods Jr.” mean that students on stage must be freshmen in high school or younger. Two Waynesboro High sophomores are also involved with the production, but remain backstage as stage manager and lighting designer.

Dollar said he hopes that the performers get “some sense of normalcy in the pandemic world” by participating in this month’s show, as well as a sense of community again. He hopes they perform “knowing their community is still vibrant and active,” and that they have a place in their community.

“I hope they get a part of the community that the arts are active and still a part of my community,” Dollar said of what he hopes audience members take away from the production.

Arts education in public school is a way to bring a community together.

“I think the story of ‘Into the Woods’ is quite appropriate for our time,” Dollar said. He said he did not want to give too much away but the end of the show will be a tearjerker. “It’s going to be great.”

Show times and dates are: Thursday, Nov. 18-Saturday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m.

Audience members will be asked to wear masks while inside the school and the auditorium during the performance. Seating will be limited to less than half of the auditorium’s capacity. Tickets are $6 to Livestream, $7 in advance for in-person and $10 at the door.

When ordering tickets at, theater goers can choose to attend in person or watch via Livestream.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.