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"Moana Jr." kicks off at Wellfield Botanic Gardens

NOW: “Moana Jr.“ kicks off at Wellfield Botanic Gardens

ELKHART, Ind.—Premier Arts and the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, both non-profit organizations, teamed up for the first time this summer to give performers an opportunity to showcase their talents.

“This has been a great partnership that we’ve started this summer to get live performing arts out into the community and two non-for-profits working together it’s just a great partnership,” Executive Director at Wellfield Botanic Gardens Eric Garton said.

During the pandemic, the organizations have put on many performances, and this weekend, an all youth cast is taking the stage to perform Disney’s Moana Jr.

“The kids are full of energy. We put this together pretty quickly because of all of the closings and things like that so in three weeks of prep time and they are ready to go,” Director of Education at Premier Arts Ashlea Harrington said.

Organizers said that they’ve been taking all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe, requiring masks in the building, making sure people are at least six feet apart, and sticking with proper capacity limits.

“Our biggest thing at Wellfield is just making sure all of our staff, volunteers, and our guests are safe. So, again, creating an environment that is as safe as we can be and then making sure that we are following those protocols,” Garton said.

The kids at the rehearsals, also taking precautions.

“We has everyone masked the entire time, singing, dancing, acting all that. We took temperatures at the door every day for rehearsal and then we do hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes everywhere as well as keeping all of the kids distanced,” Harrington said.

While many other performing art theaters in the area have not continued on with their shows, organizers believe that this is a way to come together, keep the arts going and to have their performers do what they love during a difficult time.

“It seems clique because we’re in the arts but the arts really do thrive in many more components than just on stage. And so seeing their personality’s just flourish and the way they started shining again after being out of everything for so many months, it just really brought so much light to my heart,” Harrington said.

Performances of Moana Jr. will continue on until Sunday.

Premier Arts is holding a youth and teen camp in the coming weeks where they can have fun, while also staying safe.

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