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Lu Anne Tyson

Drama is a way of life for most teenagers, but for two local teens, drama has been a passion throughout their childhood.    Southlake teens, Alli Calvert and Pierson Van den Dyssel spent their childhood on stage as members of STARS Theater Company, located in Bedford.  This weekend they will both take their final bow along with other seniors as they head up the cast in STARS’ production of BYE BYE BIRDIE, playing the roles of Albert Peterson and Kim MacAfee.

Growing up in the theater, the two became team players and team leaders as they played everything from ensemble roles with no lines to leading roles.  They both had the unique opportunity of taking over a character when a cast member was unable to fulfill their role showing their team spirit and dedication to the old adage, “the show must go on”.   

In addition to their talents on the stage Alli and Pierson became a great support for other members of the company.  Alli developed a love for stage make up and took it upon herself to organize make up for the cast before every performance. Pierson on the other hand was known as the encourager.  He could be found supporting younger cast members and volunteers throughout rehearsals contributing to a more cohesive group both on and off the stage. 

Cast in two to four productions every year, they have performed together in dozens of musicals including THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS; BIG BAD, THE MUSICAL; MARY POPPINS; DISNEY’S BEAUTY & THE BEAST; WILLY WONKA; WIZARD OF OZ; DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID; and BYE BYE BIRDIIE.  Both were students at Carroll Senior High School where Alli was an active member of both the band and choir; and Pierson was active in the theater department. 

Although their theatrical adventures began the same, the skills they developed are taking them in different directions.  Alli plans to attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando to study Communication and Pre-Law.   Her mother, Mary, stated that, “standing and performing under pressure will serve her well—will be essential. I have absolutely no doubt that the confidence she gained, and honed, in STARS will never leave her and will add to her success in whatever career she chooses.”

Pierson’s plans to study Musical Theater with a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Central Oklahoma.   He said, “STARS has always been a home away from home for me.  This is the type of place that lets an actor grow and develop their skills on stage, due to the fact that the director Lu Anne Tyson makes it fun for the students to learn.”  He also mentioned that the kids are not judged by anyone because everyone is in the cast.  Pierson’s mother, Terri, stated, “We especially appreciate how each student is worked with as an individual. Roles are cast to help them stretch and grow as a performer, but the STARS team is also focused on developing great people.”

Both Alli and Pierson developed strong relationships during their years with STARS.  Alli’s mom stated, “I am confident that her friends at STARS will be friends for life.  They share a special, almost indescribable bond for which I am immensely grateful . . .  We have loved watching these children grow up and mature in the loving atmosphere that is STARS.  It has truly been a home for Alli, and for us.”   Pierson’s mother, added, “We love being part of the STARS family!  

It’s a special responsibility and privilege to teach a child from age 7 or 8 through high school.  According to STARS’ Director, Lu Anne Tyson from Hurst, “As STARS Theater Company bids farewell to our senior students, we rest in the assurance that we are not saying goodbye.  We’re just changing roles.  We are no longer their instructors.  We are their biggest fans and friends for life.” 

Don't miss Alli, Pierson, and the other members of STARS Theater Company in BYE BYE BIRDIE.  Only one more weekend of performances so make reservations before they sell out.  Final performances are June 28-30 at Scott Hall located on the campus of First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 1245 Bedford Rd.  Call 817-925-1430 for more information or check the website at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org  It’s great family entertainment.

Lu Anne Tyson
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Drama is a way of life for most teenagers, but for two local teens, drama has been a passion throughout their childhood.    Southlake teens, Alli Calvert and Pierson Van den Dyssel spent their childhood on stage as members of STARS Theater Company, located in Bedford.  This weekend they will both take their final bow along with other seniors as they head up the cast in STARS’ production of BYE BYE BIRDIE, playing the roles of Albert Peterson and Kim MacAfee.

Growing up in the theater, the two became team players and team leaders as they played everything from ensemble roles with no lines to leading roles.  They both had the unique opportunity of taking over a character when a cast member was unable to fulfill their role showing their team spirit and dedication to the old adage, “the show must go on”.   

In addition to their talents on the stage Alli and Pierson became a great support for other members of the company.  Alli developed a love for stage make up and took it upon herself to organize make up for the cast before every performance. Pierson on the other hand was known as the encourager.  He could be found supporting younger cast members and volunteers throughout rehearsals contributing to a more cohesive group both on and off the stage. 

Cast in two to four productions every year, they have performed together in dozens of musicals including THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS; BIG BAD, THE MUSICAL; MARY POPPINS; DISNEY’S BEAUTY & THE BEAST; WILLY WONKA; WIZARD OF OZ; DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID; and BYE BYE BIRDIIE.  Both were students at Carroll Senior High School where Alli was an active member of both the band and choir; and Pierson was active in the theater department. 

Although their theatrical adventures began the same, the skills they developed are taking them in different directions.  Alli plans to attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando to study Communication and Pre-Law.   Her mother, Mary, stated that, “standing and performing under pressure will serve her well—will be essential. I have absolutely no doubt that the confidence she gained, and honed, in STARS will never leave her and will add to her success in whatever career she chooses.”

Pierson’s plans to study Musical Theater with a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Central Oklahoma.   He said, “STARS has always been a home away from home for me.  This is the type of place that lets an actor grow and develop their skills on stage, due to the fact that the director Lu Anne Tyson makes it fun for the students to learn.”  He also mentioned that the kids are not judged by anyone because everyone is in the cast.  Pierson’s mother, Terri, stated, “We especially appreciate how each student is worked with as an individual. Roles are cast to help them stretch and grow as a performer, but the STARS team is also focused on developing great people.”

Both Alli and Pierson developed strong relationships during their years with STARS.  Alli’s mom stated, “I am confident that her friends at STARS will be friends for life.  They share a special, almost indescribable bond for which I am immensely grateful . . .  We have loved watching these children grow up and mature in the loving atmosphere that is STARS.  It has truly been a home for Alli, and for us.”   Pierson’s mother, added, “We love being part of the STARS family!  

It’s a special responsibility and privilege to teach a child from age 7 or 8 through high school.  According to STARS’ Director, Lu Anne Tyson, “As STARS Theater Company bids farewell to our senior students, we rest in the assurance that we are not saying goodbye.  We’re just changing roles.  We are no longer their instructors.  We are their biggest fans and friends for life.” 

Don't miss Alli, Pierson, and the other members of STARS Theater Company in BYE BYE BIRDIE.  Only one more weekend of performances so make reservations before they sell out.  Final performances are June 28-30 at Scott Hall located on the campus of First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 1245 Bedford Rd.  Call 817-925-1430 for more information or check the website at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org  It’s great family entertainment.

Lu Anne Tyson
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STARS Theater Company is celebrating 25 Years of musical theater, with the Tony Award winning musical, BYE BYE BIRDIE.  Performances are June 21-23 & 28-30 at Scott Hall, located at 1245 Bedford Rd on the campus of the First United Methodist Church in Bedford.  Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30pm and Sunday shows are at 3:00pm.

Head back to the 1960s with BYE, BYE, BIRDIE.   The upbeat musical comedy tells the story of rock ‘n roll star, Conrad Birdie, his manager Albert Peterson and the fans that bid him farewell as he leaves for the Army.  Filled with great music, the score includes songs such as “Put On A Happy Face”, “Kids”, “Rosie” and “One Last Kiss”. 

Heading up the cast is Pierson Van den Dyssel of Southlake playing the role of Albert Peterson, Conrad’s agent.  The role of his girlfriend, Rosie, is played by Amber Meagher also of Southlake and Kim MacAfee is played by another Southlake talent, Allie Calvert.  Rock star, Conrad Birdie, is played by Ethan Kille, of Fort Worth.  Rounding out the cast are Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee and Ruby played by Neil Tucker of North Richland Hills, Sofia Dahm of Euless, and Emmy Irvin of Bedford.   The production is directed by Lu Anne Tyson of Hurst with choreography by Sue Hurst of Grapevine and vocal direction by Paula-Beth Toller of Arlington.

BYE BYE BIRDIE is great entertainment for anyone that would enjoy an upbeat tribute to 1960s rock ‘n roll.  Like all STARS’ productions, it is great entertainment for the entire family.  Mark your calendars for June 21-23 & 28-30.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children under 12.  To reserve your seat, call 817-925-1430 or get tickets online at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org.  You won’t want to miss STARS Theater Company’s 25th Anniversary production of BYE BYE BIRDIE.

Lu Anne Tyson
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Do you want to be an actor?   Students ages 8-18 are invited to enjoy a day of fun - singing, dancing & acting, with the youth cast of STARS Theater Company.   Join the cast this Saturday, April 6 for FRIEND DAY.    It’s be a special day to get to know the staff and students of the youth theater company.   No experience is necessary - STARS is a teaching theater. 

STARS Theater Company is an educational theater for young people.  The cast is rehearsing for the 25th Anniversary Summer Musical, BYE BYE BIRDIE.  Interested students are invited to spend the day with STARS have the option to join at the end of the day.  FRIEND DAY is a great way “test the waters” – at no charge.    

STARS Theater Company rehearses in the Community Building of the First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 2012 Shady Brook, Bedford  76021.   The cast of BYE BYE BIRDIE meets 12:30pm-4:30pm.  There is no obligation, but if you choose to join the cast rehearsals are every 1st & 3rd Saturday of every month.  Tuition is $85 per month.  The 25th Anniversary Summer Musical, BYE BYE BIRDIE will be presented June 21-23 & 28-30.   If you’d like more information call 817-925-1430 and check the website at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org 

Lu Anne Tyson
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Young actors, don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of the 25th Anniversary Season at STARS Theater Company.  To accommodate everyone, auditions have been extended one weekend.  The directors invite interested students to audition this Saturday, February 23, 10am-noon at the Community Building of the First United Methodist Church in Bedford located at 2012 Bedford Rd.

Students ages 8-12 audition for THE RAINBOW FISH, MUSICAL

Teenagers audition for BYE BYE BIRDIE

STARS has been a part of the Northeast Tarrant County theater community since it was founded in March of 1994.  Founding Director, Lu Anne Tyson, is thrilled to be celebrating 25 years with the youth of our local community.  All interested students ages 8-18 are encouraged to audition and join the fun in this special season of musical theater. 

Based on the popular children’s book, THE RAINBOW FISH, is a brand new musical that became available in January.   STARS’ young company will be among the first actors in the country to perform the musical.  BYE BYE BIRDIE is the Tony Award winning script that put teens on Broadway in the 1960s  Performances of RAINBOW FISH, THE MUSICAL are scheduled for May 3-5 and BYE BYE BIRDIE performances are scheduled for June 21-23 & 28-30.

STARS Theater Company is known for its professional staff and dedication to teaching young people.  STARS is an educational theater and all roles will be played by young people.  Rehearsals are the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of each month and tuition is $85 per month.  Students will study acting, singing, dancing and set construction.  Come out and “experience theater with STARS.”  For information or to pick up audition materials call 817-925-1430.  www.STARSTheaterCompany.org

Lu Anne Tyson
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STARS Theater Company is celebrating 25 years of educational theater with a fun filled season honoring youth.   STARS announces the first two shows of the 2019 season include THE  RAINBOW FISH, MUSICAL adapted from the popular children’s book by Marcus Pfister and BYE, BYE, BIRDIE, the Tony Award winning musical that brought teens to Broadway.   Auditions are scheduled for Saturday, February 16 at the Community Building, First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 2012 Shady Brook, Bedford. 

Ages 8-12 audition for THE RAINBOW FISH, MUSICAL, 9:00am-noon. 

Teenagers audition for BYE BYE BIRDIE, 12:30pm-4:30pm

Young actors ages 8-12 will enjoy performing THE RAINBOW FISH, MUSICAL.  The loveable story reminds children of the importance of kindness, sharing, and friendship. The Rainbow Fish loves being adored for his shimmering scales, but soon realizes that it takes kindness to make friends.  Performances of THE RAINBOW FISH, MUSICAL are scheduled for May 3-5.

Teen actors head back to the 1960s in BYE, BYE, BIRDIE.   This upbeat Tony Award winning musical, tells the story of rock ‘n roll star, Conrad Birdie, his manager Albert Peterson and the fans that bid him farewell as he leaves for the Army.  Of course, most of the fans are teenage bobbysoxers swooning over the good looking rock star.  The show is packed with fun male and female roles for teenagers, and the score includes great songs including “Put On A Happy Face”, “Kids”, and “Rosie”.  Performances for BYE, BYE, BIRDIE are scheduled for June 21-23 & 28-30.

STARS is an educational theater celebrating 25 years in northeast Tarrant County.  As always, all roles will be played by young people.  Rehearsals are the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of each month and tuition is $85 per month.  Students study acting, singing, and dancing with STARS professional staff.  For information or to pick up audition materials call 817-925-1430.  www.STARSTheaterCompany.org

Lu Anne Tyson
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Celebrating 25 Years of musical theater, STARS Theater Company opens the 2019 Season with the 1950s musical, ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK.  Performances are January 11-13 & 18-20 at Scott Hall, located at 1245 Bedford Rd on the campus of the First United Methodist Church in Bedford.  Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30pm and Sunday shows are at 3:00pm. 

The rockin’ tribute takes you back to the nifty fifties and the days of leather jackets, motorcycles, and everybody’s favorite hangout . . . the soda shop.  Gracie Stanley is in charge of the High School Hippity Hop and promised everyone that her rock star cousin, Ziggy Springer, would perform.  Now, she is in the jam of a lifetime! To her dismay, Ziggy’s manager doesn’t want him performing without pay.  Gracie needs to produce a double...  or never show her face in the soda shop again!   With the snooty Muffin Mansfield keeping her eyes on Gracie’s every move, it won’t be easy.  Loaded with bobby socks, poodle skirts, and a fabulous 50’s score, it really is the Nifty Fifties!

Heading up the cast as Gracie Stanley is Southlake resident, Alli Calvert. George, Gracie’s boyfriend, is played by James Wade of Southlake.  Her best friends, Rose Marie and Evelyn are played by Emma Mann of Southlake and Lauren Raymond from Grand Prairie.  The Teen Queens, Muffin, Jane and Ann are played by Amber Meagher of Southlake, Carson Hawkins of Bedford, and Arlington resident, Lauren Henesey.  The production is directed by Lu Anne Tyson of Hurst with choreography by Sue Hurst and vocal direction by Paula-Beth Toller of Arlington.

The production is great for anyone that would enjoy an upbeat musical trip back to the 1950s.  Make plans to bring the entire family and attend ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK.  Like all STARS Theater Company productions, it is great entertainment for the entire family.  Mark your calendars for January 11-13 & 18-20.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children under 12.  Call 817-925-1430 or get tickets online at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org.  This is a show you won’t want to miss.

Lu Anne Tyson
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STARS Theater Company presents THE EVER AFTER, November 30-December 2 at Scott Hall in Bedford.  Performances are Friday & Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm. 

Apparently “happily ever after” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Cinderella and her middle-aged 'beauty-impaired' stepsisters along with Snow White and the Evil Queen attempt to reconcile after being estranged for over 20 years.  This hysterical musical fairy tale has it all:  a rapping mirror, a prince who is turning back into a frog and even Jiminy Cricket who’s working as an occupational therapist.    Add the foot tapping score with songs like “'Beauty Impaired' and 'Dainty Do-Gooder' and you have great family entertainment. 

Heading up the cast are two TV hosts, played by Lucy Toller from Arlington and Kaya Bullock from Haltom City.   They do their best to keep the kooky cast of characters on a course to reconciliation.  The Stepsisters are played by Reagan Hanacik from Bedford and Amelie Archer from Keller.  Cinderella is played by North Richland Hills resident Sabrina Goral.  Reese Hanacik from Bedford plays the role of Snow White and the Evil Queen is played by Emerson Hodges also from Bedford.  The mirror with an attitude is played by Haltom City resident, Rhiana Bullock.   Jimminy Cricket and the friendly Frog Prince are played by David and Patrick Blake from Fort Worth. 

Kids of all ages will enjoy STARS Theater Company’s production of THE EVER AFTER.  Scott Hall is located on the campus of the First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 1245 Bedford Rd.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12.  For ticket information call 817-925-1430 or check out the website at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org

Lu Anne Tyson
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So you want to be an actor?   Students ages 8-12 and teens are invited to enjoy a day of fun - singing, dancing & acting, with the STARS.   Join STARS Theater Company on Saturday, September 15th for FRIEND DAY.    It’s be a special day to get to know the staff and the current cast of the youth theater company.   

STARS Theater Company is an educational theater for young people ages 8-12 and teens.  The current casts will be rehearsing for upcoming shows and interested students are invited to spend the day with STARS to see what it’s like to be a young actor.   Students have the option to join the cast at the end of the day.  FRIEND DAY is a great way “test the waters” – at no charge.   

STARS Theater Company rehearses in the Community Building of the First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 2012 Shady Brook, Bedford  76021.   Ages 8-12 meet 9am-noon and teens meet 12:30pm-4:30pm.  STARS professional staff includes a dance instructor, voice instructor, and director.  If interested students choose to join the cast rehearsals are every 1st & 3rd Saturday of every month and tuition is $85 per month.  Upcoming productions include EVER AFTER, A MUSICAL to be presented by the 8-12 yr old company on November 30-December 2.  STARS Teen production of ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK will be presented January 11-13 & 18-20.

Next year, STARS will celebrate 25 years of educational theater in Northeast Tarrant County.   If you’d like more information call 817-925-1430 and check the website at www.STARSTheaterCompany.org 

Lu Anne Tyson
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STARS Theater Company announces a fun fall season of upbeat hilarious musicals for their teen and preteen acting companies.   Auditions are scheduled for Saturday, August 4 at the Community Building, First United Methodist Church in Bedford, 2012 Shady Brook, Bedford. 

Ages 8-12 audition for THE EVER AFTER, MUSICAL, 9:00am-noon. 

Teenagers audition for ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK, 12:30pm-4:30pm

Young actors ages 8-12 will have a blast performing THE EVER AFTER, MUSICAL.  The story brings together a crazy collection of fairy tale characters for an evening of “reconciliation”.  The fun begins with Cinderella and her ‘beauty-impaired’ stepsisters then mayhem erupts with the entrance of Snow White, the Evil Queen and their trash talking Mirror.  Add an unfortunate prince who stuck somewhere between a frog & a prince and you have an evening of nonstop laughter and music.  The toe tapping score includes ‘Beauty Impaired’, ‘Dainty Do-Gooder’, and ‘Bull Frog Mambo.’  Performances of THE EVER AFTER, MUSICAL are scheduled for November 30 - December 2.

Teen actors travel back to the 1950s in ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK.  Set in the local soda shop where all the teens hang out, the kids are making plans for the school sock hop. Gracie Stanley is in charge of the dance and promises that her “cousin” Ziggy, the famous rock star, will perform at the dance.  Gracie’s rival, the snooty Muffin Mansfield, is just waiting and hoping for her to flop.   The show is packed with fun roles for teenagers, including jocks, rock stars, mean girls, bikers, and beatniks.  The 1950’s score includes great songs such as  ’Bop-A-Lu-Bop Dance Party,’ ’Teen Queen,’ and, of course,’ The Nifty Fifties!.  Performances for ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK are scheduled for January 11-13 & 18-20.

STARS is an educational theater celebrating 24 years in northeast Tarrant County.  As always, all roles will be played by young people.  Rehearsals are the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of each month and tuition is $85 per month.  Students study acting, singing, and dancing with STARS professional staff.  For information or to pick up audition materials call 817-925-1430.  www.STARSTheaterCompany.org