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Music, dance tell real story of Pocahontas

Journey Theaters musical has more sober ending than Disney version


by: COURTESY PHOTO:  - Rachael Peterson of Hillsboro plays Pocahontas in Journey Theater Arts Groups production,which show coordinators say is more accurate than the popular Disney version. Journey Theater Arts Group comes to the Venetian in Hillsboro this weekend with a non-Disney version of “Pocahontas.” Unlike the ever-popular but inaccurate animated movie, this production purports to tell the true story of the famous Algonquin woman.

“It’s definitely not the Disney version,” Sienna Langstaff said. “It’s more historically accurate, focusing on the story of how Pocahontas became a liaison between her tribe and the settlers. I can’t say too much because I might give away the ending.”

Langstaff, the show coordinator for the group, said “The Legend of Pocahontas” was written in 2007 by Jon Lorenz and Robb Beus of the Christian Youth Theater in Portland.

“We found it because our choreographer was in that first production as a teenager,” she said.

The choreographer loved the dancing in the 2007 show, which is also a highlight of this production, said Langstaff, whose children are part of the cast.

“My kids have talked about how much they love the choreography,” she said. “It’s challenging, but it’s also fun to do — especially for the children playing (American) Indians. The dancing really speaks to that culture.”

The show is performed by 38 children between 9 and 17 years old.

“Our kids usually come from (theater) camps and classes,” Langstaff said. “We offer beginning dance classes for boys and girls, as well as some advanced classes like stage makeup, stunts, combat and voice.”

The broad age range works well, she said. “We pair everyone up with a show buddy at the beginning of the process — older with younger or new actors with veterans. It creates a great family atmosphere and the younger kids really look up to older ones.”



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