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Rhythm and rhyme
Thespian group eyes nationals
Rhythm and Rhyme pic2
Choreographer Carly Berg, left, goes over a dance number with Lauren Morgan and Alli Auffarth. - photo by Frank Reddy Dawson Community News

A singing, dancing troupe of local youngsters are spending weeknights gearing up for a competition in January, where they’ll try and outperform others from around the country.


But in the meantime, they’re having some fun.


The new group meets twice a week at the Bowen Center for the Arts, rehearsing “Seussical,” a show based on the books of Dr. Seuss. Twenty six young actors ages 7 to 18 are led by director Nathan Gerrells of Dawson County.


The 25-year-old theater buff said the group is “looking very good ... these kids really want to be here, and they’re excited about it.”


Gerrells said the competition is “a huge opportunity for anybody interested in doing theater ... the judges are straight from Broadway.”


The Junior Theater Festival will be held Jan. 16-17 in Atlanta. Gerrells said it’s “the largest children’s theater festival in the country.”


Gerrells said the young people have been practicing for the competition for about a month now, with the help of co-director Brooke Caldwell and 18-year-old choreographer Carly Berg.


Bowen Center for the Arts Director Marcia Chelf said the troupe is “very, very good ... they may be young, but some of them are seasoned actors. They bring a lot of experience to the table for their age.”


Residents can catch a preview performance of “Seussical” at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Riverview Middle School before the young thespians head to Atlanta for the competition.


The key, Gerrells said, to winning the competition: “Lots and lots of practice.”


For more information, call (706) 216-2787, or visit