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INGRAM — The Hill Country Arts Foundation is welcoming a new program: Playground, a new children’s theater, directed by HCAF’s Technical Director Scott Jones and managed by HCAF’s Volunteer Coordinator Jeffery Hensel.  

Children of all ages are welcome to enroll, and no experience is necessary. All children enrolled will perform.

Jones brings a lifetime of experience and a whole lot of passion to the theater. The native Texan and father of seven served in the U.S. Army and law enforcement before turning to a life in theater.

In 2002, he got his big break when he was cast as Rooster in a production of the musical “Annie” in Fredericksburg. Shocked to learn 52 kids had auditioned for the roles of the orphans and only

12 made it, he created his own children’s theater group, determined to provide

an experience where no child would

fail.  

“The other 40 were not even given chorus roles,” said Jones. “They were just told ‘You’re not good enough.’ I couldn’t accept that.”  

The Playground is unique, because actors and crew range in age from 5 to 18, and parents are encouraged to attend rehearsals and even participate.  

The motto “One team, with many hands working together for one purpose, to put on the greatest show possible,” is evident.  

“I believe the theater experience we have built gives children a place to grow and challenge themselves,” Jones said.

The two-cast system he developed creates an atmosphere of teamwork. When not on stage, children rotate working lights, sets and makeup. 

“It’s not only about the one on stage,” Jones said. “Without the lighting operator, we don’t have a show.” 

Not only can he direct and act, Jones writes the plays that are performed. Over the years, he has compiled 14 original plays.

“Robin Hood,” written by Jones, is scheduled to take the stage Jan. 23-26. Flexible, family-friendly rehearsals begin Nov. 2.

Enrollment in the 12-week program costs $50 per child. There is a discount available for families with multiple children participating.

For more information, call the Hill Country Arts Foundation at 830-367-5121.

The HCAF is at 120 Point Theatre Road in Ingram.

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