I sat down with Tanner Morris to talk about his theater experience and the recent production he directed, “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” at East Valley Children’s Theatre. He gave me a fun sneak peek into “The Frog Prince” coming Feb. 16–26.
“I’m stepping away from directing and going back to stage managing the next show. (It’s) the winner of EVCT’s playwriting contest. It’s a musical, and there’s basketball in it!” says Morris.
Morris started theater 10 years ago when he was in high school. He saw there were auditions for the Neil Simon play “Rumors.” After not getting a part, he managed to get through another audition and did his first show, Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Despite being a chal lenging show, he loved being in the theater. After that, he got involved with EVCT when one of his friends brought him along to audition for the show “Little Red Riding Hood,” and Morris got a role.
Morris’s favorite shows include EVCT’s junior pro duction, “The Jungle Book,” because of its cast, and “The Lost Boys of Neverland,” his original composition! Morris enjoys working with some great people at EVCT, including choreographer Breona Conrad, costume designer Nicole Tatro, and Shyanne French and Ian Pelczarski, who are stage managers. He is excited about EVCT’s new Artistic Director, Bryanna Blanco.
Morris loves the creative process, building a story and the teaching aspect. “Because I’m working with young actors...I come in and teach them about motivation and energy and expression,” says Morris.
Morris thinks EVCT is special because of its focus on kids. “It’s about the kids and you’re the ones on stage—you’re the ones having this experience, and I feel like EVCT is the best place for that,” he says.
For more information, visit www.evct.org