By Samantha Joseph
HOBE SOUND - An aspiring young actress from Hobe Sound will play the lead in a family musical premiering at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
Emily Rynasko is gearing up for her role as Alice in "Through the Looking Glass," based on the classic novel "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll.
This time, though, the story has a contemporary twist, with a teenage Alice grappling with modern issues.
"She overcomes her fears and discovers who she really is," said 14-year-old Emily, a ninth grader at The Pine School. "I have so much in common with my character it really is quite funny."
The role is the latest undertaking for the teenager, who has participated in theater productions for the last six years, ever since Andrew Kato, the theater's producing artistic director, spotted her singing at a local talent show.
The local teen dreams of one day being among the industry's elite.
"My aspiration is to win a Tony or an Oscar, but I have to focus on my craft and education," she said.
It's the perfect spirit to inspire her new on-stage character, show creators said.
The play features new music and a new script from North Palm Beach-based writer and composer, John Mercurio, working with Mr. Kato, who conceived and is directing the piece.
West Palm Beach choreographer, performer and dance teacher Ricky Nahas created original choreography for the show, which will also feature original costumes by Leslye Menshouse.
"In a colorful land where animals talk and characters amuse, 12-year-old Alice learns to 'look in the mirror' and see the truly special person she is," according to theater material. "With an exciting original pop score, this adventure is filled with fun twists the entire family will enjoy."
Emily is one of 28 young actors, ages 8 to 17 in the production. She joins fellow Treasure Coast residents Tamara Hoffenden, 12, of Fort Pierce, Sophia Liano, 8, of Stuart and Sophie Phillips, 13, and Nicky Wood, 17, both of Port St. Lucie.
"This is a unique, one-night-only show," said Linnea Brown, the theater's director of public relations. "It's truly family friendly."
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children.
For more information, call (561) 575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org.