Twenty-five performers came together the night of June 18 to sing and dance in an opening production for the American Association of Community Theatre’s World Festival at Venice Theatre. Among them: me. 

When director Allan Kollar put out a call on Facebook explaining he wanted to open the AACT Festival (which only happens once every four years) with a production number of epic proportions, the musical theater junkie in me signed up before you could say DM.

The next several weeks would see numerous rehearsals as we learned the music, harmonies, and choreography. Choreographer Geena Ravella staged the four-minute piece, set to the song “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman, with layers of movement while music director Michelle Kasanofsky drilled the notes and tempos into our heads and voices.

When opening night arrived, we were ready to strut our stuff, each of us costumed in black and one item that best represented us (of course, I went with sequins). An exuberant audience of fellow theater folk from all over the planet cheered as we got the week-long festival underway. Enjoy this short video of our experience and catch the fun for yourself at the festival’s closing weekend, running until Sunday, June 23.

For more information about AACT World Fest, visit the Venice Theatre website or the box office at Venice Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice, FL 34285, (941) 488-1115. To discover my latest theatre antics and other behind-the-scenes videos, visit

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