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Redlands-based actress bringing Disney's story to life in Los Angeles [Redlands Daily Facts (CA)]

October 22, 2013

YellowBrix

REDLANDS >> Kirklyn Robinson is helping to release a bit of Disney Magic into the air nightly, as she performs scenes from the brand new musical, "When You Wish: The Story Of Walt Disney," in Los Angeles through Nov. 3.

The musical is based on the life of the legendary animator who brought such classics as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Sleeping Beauty" to life, as well as his signature character, Mickey Mouse.

Robinson, a 2010 graduate of Redlands East Valley High School, was cast as an ensemble member for the production written by Dean McClure and backed by Pat Boone.

The 21-year-old plays a variety of characters on stage as the musical travels through Disney's Life.

In one scene she portrays a nurse caring for the animator's brother, Roy, while he recovers from tuberculosis, she said.

In another, she's silent film actress Gloria Swanson.

"It's a brand new musical, which is really cool in itself," Robinson said by phone Sunday, as she was driving to a matinee performance of the show. "It starts off when (Walt) was a little boy, and goes through all the hardships he had to go through after losing Laugh-O-Gram Studios, and then moving out to California and all these dreams he wanted to pursue.

"He wanted to be an actor and a director in Hollywood, but he was not good enough to do either of those. And then he created Disney Bros. Studios, which later changed to Walt Disney Studios. And it snowballed from there," she continued. "It's a really cool show."

Robinson is one of 20 who make up the cast of "Wish" as performances continue in the Ralph Freud Playhouse at UCLA, 225 Charles E. Young Drive East.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with matinee performances offered at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Since Robinson portrays a number characters on stage, playing dress-up is just part of the job - a task she has enjoyed since first setting foot on stage as a young girl.

"I love being able to portray all these different people, and all of these different lives," she said. "You get to work and you get to play dress-up every day. How fun is that? And in these lavish costumes, it's very freeing almost. And then you get to sing, dance and do what you love? It's just all very fun."

"When You Wish" is one of the largest productions the Redlands resident has been a part of, she said.

Others include a production of "Sunset Boulevard" in Long Beach and "Parade" in Fullerton.

She has also performed locally and on stage with her mother, actress Debbie Prutsman who recently starred in a production of Sweeney Todd at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont.

Robinson credits her mother for introducing her to a life on the stage.

"She was in a production when I was 5, and they needed a little girl. So she brought me along, and that is how it all started," Robinson said. "I absolutely love it."

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit whenyouwishmusical.com.

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