Children’s Theatre A “Must See” In Monticello


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If you’re ever in Monticello during June, during the time the Jefferson County Watermelon Festival is in full swing, one of the events that should be on your “to-do” list is to see the Children’s Company annual performance at the Monticello Opera House.

DSC_0432The children’s theatre performers are part of  The Monticello Acting & Dance Co. (MADCo) and consists of actors, singers and dancers of all ages. MADCo is under the direction of local resident, Melanie Mays, who produces, directs and choreographs all of MADCo’s productions, from children’s theatre to Broadway-style musicals to comedies. Mays has performed professionally as an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer and passes her experience onto her students by teaching dance, piano and accordion; she gives workshops on auditioning for musical theatre and does acting lessons and vocal coaching to ensure young performers are ready to take the stage.


Members of the company (sometimes adults, sometimes teens) write and compose the book, music, and lyrics for the children’s shows. Not only are the shows a big hit at the local summer festival, but summer camps from Tallahassee book in early January each year to be able to attend the children’s theatre. This usually adds an additional week of sold out performances to the schedule. This year’s production, 2014: A Space Oddity, was written by one of MADCo’s adult performers, Judi Persons, who had help from her granddaughter, Kaya Dungey. 2014: A Space Oddity was a science-fiction extravaganza that included a comedic robot as narrator, colorful costumes, space-related trivia segments, singing and dancing worthy of Broadway and ending with a message, good for not only children but adults as well: the message of learning to accept others, even if they are different from ourselves.

Past offerings include original works such as:


Don’t Trash Your Mother Earth,


Hot Dogs, Cool Cats,


Creepy Crawlies,


The Unhappy Hippopotamus,


Dragon Breath,

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and High Tide: A Pirate’s Tale

Jefferson County’s 64th Annual Watermelon Festival Kicks Off June 13, 2014


The Jefferson County 64th Annual Watermelon Festival will kick-off in Monticello on June 13 at the Monticello Opera House with dinner and children’s theater. Tickets for dinner and show are: adults $25 and children $20 (ages 10 and under). Show only tickets are: adults $10; children $3 (ages 12 and under) and students $5. Doors to the Opera House will open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. Caesar Salad will start the meal and will follow with a kid-friendly menu consisting of fried chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese, yeast rolls and dessert.
At 7 p.m. MADco will present 2014: A Space Oddity

Other dates and events for the festival include:

June 14

Picture 1• The Watermelon Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. The pageant will be at
the old Jefferson County High School. Come and cheer on your favorite

• The Wacissa Sunrise Paddle takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and will include water activities, music, food and fun! This event is brought to you by Check out their website for more information.

Picture 1bJune 16, 17 & 18

• New this year is the Watermelon Fest Lunch Jams! with proceeds benefiting local non-profit organizations. The jams will be held at Two Sisters…New
Beginnings parking lot, and will be held on June 16, 17 and 18. Come and have lunch and enjoy some musical jams!
On June 16, lunch will be provided by Jefferson County 4H. The musical entertainment will be Daniel Craig Hardin, with the American Red Cross participating.
June 17th’s, lunch will be provided by JCMHS Tiger Boosters and music will be by Hot Tamale.
On June 18 the lunch will be provided by the Olive Baptist Church, with music TBD.

June 19

• The Monticello Woman’s Club will host a luncheon at the Monticello Woman’s Club, located at 975 E Pearl Street. For time or more information, call (850) 342-1119.

June 20

• June 20 starts off with a BBQ, compliments of the Monticello Rotary Club, at 5 p.m., downtown Monticello.

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• Watermelon Carving Contest – 1st Prize: $100; 2nd Prize: $50; 3rd Prize:
Watermelon Festival t-shirt; People’s Choice awards wins half of the money collected. The entries will be judged by Jefferson Arts Gallery judges. Time and place TBD.

• Children’s Theater will be holding another showing of 2014: A Space Oddity at 7:45 p.m., at the Opera House.

• At 8 p.m. there will be a Street Dance at the corner of Dogwood and Cherry Streets , so stay late, kick up your heels and have some fun.

• Also at 8 p.m., if you want to take a trip to the paranormal, trek to the Chamber of Commerce for the Ghost Tour. The chamber is located at 420 Washington Street in Monticello. You can also call ahead and make reservations by calling Melanie Mays at (850) 997-5552.

June 21

• June 21, Farmers and Merchants Bank starts the last day of the festival off right by serving breakfast at 7 a.m.

• Work off breakfast with a 5K Melon Run, hosted by the Monticello Kiwanis Club at 8:15 a.m.

Picture 3• Visit the Arts & Crafts booths at 9 a.m. where you can find jewelry, live plants, homemade soaps, clothing, paintings and much, much more. If you work up an appetite, there will be plenty of food booths too, located throughout the arts and crafts booths on Cherry, Dogwood and Pearl Streets.

• At 10 a.m. the 7th Annual Wally Bentley Memorial Car Show, presented by the Tallahassee Region Antique Auto Club of America, will be held at the Farmers and Merchants Bank parking lot. There will be trophies, cash and prize raffles, withy trophies and raffles starting at noon. (Must be present to win). For more information go to

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• The 64th annual Watermelon Parade will begin at 10 a.m. This year’s Grand Marshal is Daryl Jones. Mr. Jones is a citizen of Jefferson County and a dedicated worker for UPS, where he is assigned to the Monticello/Jefferson County area.

• After the parade, there will be BMX Bike Exhibitions Sponsored By Tobacco Free Florida! that will include a Bike Giveaway! Bleachers will be set up at the end of Cherry Street, in the area by the Downtown Club.

• At 11:30 a.m., at the Opera House, there will be another Children’s Theater showing of 2014: A Space Oddity.

• While you’re enjoying the festival, take time to stop in at the Jefferson Arts Gallery, located at 575 W Washington Street and see the latest exhibit, that will feature many local artists.

• If you missed the Ghost Tour on the 20th, at 8:00 p.m., there will be a second tour of Monticello, where you just may get a glimpse of a past Monticello resident, or two. Bring your walking shoes. The tour will start at the Chamber of Commerce, located at 420 Washington Street.

For more information on the Watermelon Festival or events happening during the festival, visit: or