BWW Previews: Shows for Kids by Kids at Ogunquit Playhouse
Through the efforts of the Ogunquit Playhouse Children's Theater Camp, there's a good chance you'll see a future star of the theater in one of the upcoming summer performances produced for younger audiences.
This year's children's shows include performances of Jack and the Beanstalk, Disney's Cinderella Kids, Disney's Peter Pan Jr. and The Magic Tree House, Dinosaurs Before Dark. Each show is performed three times in a weekend with a Saturday showing at 10 AM and 1 PM and a Sunday showing at 10 AM.
The actors for these performances are students enrolled in one of four summer camp experiences for youngster 9 to 15 years of age, called the Junior Players. The workshops identify, strengthen and enhance each student's performance skills, self-esteem and self-expression. Students receive vocal, movement and acting training while preparing to perform before a live audience.
Students attend camp daily from Monday to Friday for a period of one or two weeks. The daily training ends with dress rehearsals and performances to what are usually sold out performances.
The shows take place on the main stage at Ogunquit, a place that has been home to many theater legends through the years. Performers and audiences get the full theater experience in one of America's most historic theaters.
"The Children's Theatre Programs offer a unique opportunity to engage the youngest members of our community in theater craft and to introduce them to the magic of live theater performances, as either a participant or an audience member," said Bradford Kenney, Executive Artistic Director at the Ogunquit Playhouse. "As a result, it very often generates a life-long love of the theatre and participation in the arts."
Julie Oliver serves as the Director of Youth Programming for the second year in a row though she's been the Resident Musical Director for Children's Theatre at Ogunquit since 2009 and Musical Director and Assistant Musical Director for some of the Playhouse's main stage shows.
"We have a fantastic professional staff that includes the directors, musical directors and choreographers who are hired to work exclusively with the children," said Oliver. "In addition, the professional staff who design the sets, lighting, sound and costumes for our main stage productions, also design our Children's Theater shows. Together we are able to produce a great show for families in a very short period of time."
For information about theater camps or for tickets for the children's shows, go to ogunquitplayhouse.org. Ticket prices are $12.
Disney's Peter Pan, Jr.
Wendy Darling loves to tell stories to her brothers, Michael and John. But when her father announces she must move out of the nursery, Peter Pan comes to visit the children and whisks them away to Never Land. Their adventure introduces them to the Lost Boys, Mermaids, Indians and the infamous pirate, Captain Hook. This enchanting musical is based on the Disney film and J.M. Barrie's play and includes the classic Disney songs, "Following the Leader," "You Can Fly," "The Second Star to the Right" and "Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me."
Performances: Saturday, Aug 9 - 10 AM and 1 PM and Sunday, Aug 10 - 10 AM
The Magic Tree House, Dinosaurs Before Dark
What would you do if a tree house in your neighborhood could transport you anywhere you wanted to go? While exploring one afternoon, siblings Jack and Annie discover a tree house full of books. Jack looks through a book about dinosaurs and wishes he could see a real one. Suddenly the wind begins to blow and the tree house starts to spin wildly. When it finally stops, Jack and Annie open their eyes to find they have been transported back to the time of the dinosaurs. Join Jack and Annie on their adventure back in time to experience an amazing group of dinosaurs face to face.
Performances: Saturday, Aug 16 - 10 AM and 1 PM and Sunday, Aug 17 - 10 AM