The Kyrene Community Theater will debut its first show of the season with the new addition of middle and high school students.

The theater, which operates out of Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School in Ahwatukee, is gearing for its production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” set to premiere Oct. 6.

Parent volunteer Leslie Barrett said the new opportunity for older kids to act is a “fun extension” to what director Jenefer Miller had been offering to younger students.

The theater began opening up its productions and cast auditions to middle and high school students this spring, previously it was only available during the summer for younger students.

Barrett, whose two kids are acting in the play, said in the short time of rehearsing, the actors and crew have become “like family.”

This weekend’s play will feature middle school students from Akimel A-al, and high school students from Desert Vista, Corona del Sol, and Marcos de Niza.

Though the students are each from competing high schools, Barrett said the camaraderie between the actors is a rarity.

“It’s a really great group of kids, and they get a chance to support each other,” she said.

“How to Succeed” follows the rise of main character J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook called “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” to climb the corporate ladder from a lowly window washer to a high-powered executive.

With the play’s 50th anniversary premiering on Broadway last year, the show gained attention by students and Miller.

“It’s still a pretty new program, but it’s a great opportunity to extend (acting) to others,” Barrett said.

The show will be performed at Akimel-Al Middle School, 2720 E. Liberty Lane, on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $8.

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