Liverpool youth theatre group prepares for April performances

·2 min read

Imagine being in a haunted room and having to make a life or death decision.

It’s a scenario that will be played out in one of two April performances by Queens County’s A Breath of Fresh Air (ABOFA) theatre group. The players are hoping to perform two live plays at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool April 9, 10 and 11, if COVID-19 protocols allow.

Kallie Koliotassis, founder and director of ABOFA, said if they are unable to appear in front of a live audience, the cast will perform the plays and record them for people to view online.

“Fingers crossed. We’re really hoping that it doesn’t come to that. For some of the seniors this is going to be their final show,” said Koliotassis. “We didn’t know if we would be able to do this, but they really wanted to get in that last show.”

This will be the first live performance of any kind at the Astor Theatre since the group performed The Bold and the Young last March.

Koliotassis founded ABOFA in 2017 for youths aged 13 to 19. She is also a member of its parent theatrical group, Winds of Change.

The first performance will feature six of the younger cast members in a 10-minute drama set on Halloween night called The One.

“It is about a group of friends that end up at a haunted house and a room that may, or may not actually exist,” she said. “They are faced with a decision that could doom one or all of them.”

The feature production will see seven senior members act in an original play written by Koliotassis called Goodbye Kurt Cobain.

The play is about a group of high school seniors who go out into the woods a few weeks after musician Kurt Cobain died. One of the seniors was a huge fan and needs some cheering up.

“It’s not really about Kurt Cobain, but about a group of friends, and I kind of parallel the end of the friendships. You know how high school is, you come to the end and everyone goes their separate ways, despite everyone saying they will stick together,” said Koliotassis. “It’s about coming to terms with the end of those relationships.”

“It’s great that we may have live theatre again at the Astor,” said Jean Robinson-Dexter, the theatre’s interim general manager. “And it’s great that it will be with A Breath of Fresh Air. These kids have been working hard all winter,” she said.

Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin