Jim O'Heir Makes Special Guest Appearance In Premiere Of HELL ON EARTH: A NEW MUSICAL (ABOUT MIDDLE SCHOOL)
Actor and comedian Jim O'Heir from NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation makes a special pre-filmed video appearance this weekend at the world premiere of Hell on Earth: A New Musical (About Middle School). The Young Actors' Theatre Camp Founding Directors, Shawn Ryan and John Ainsworth, present their brand new musical starring 20 Bay Area teens at The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts this weekend (November 15, 16, and 17).
With book and lyrics by Shawn Ryan (America's Got Talent) and music by Michael Sobie (Conductor of 2019 Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience), Hell on Earth: A New Musical (About Middle School) follows seven best friends as they join forces to survive the last four days of middle school. This original musical is produced by The Young Actors' Theatre Camp and will have adults and teens alike laughing and crying about the most difficult time in all of our lives...puberty.
View the Official Trailer here: www.tinyurl.com/HellOnEarthTrailer
"When we started out to write Hell on Earth: A New Musical (About Middle School), we wanted to make sure that we had a concept and a show that would come from the perspective of today's teenager," said lyricist and book writer Shawn Ryan. "Camp YATC has given us all an amazing opportunity to look at the real issues facing our students today and write directly to their points of view." Ryan and composer Michael Sobie took the first six months of 2019 to pen the first workshop draft of Hell on Earth: A New Musical (About Middle School), and now entering the fall of 2019, they are presenting their final draft. "After the initial workshop production at camp in July, we took a step back and thought - 'Wow! We have a real show on our hands here--a show for teens and adults alike.'" Ryan continued, "Anyone who found adolescence more than slightly awkward is going to relate to this story of Caroline Whithers and her six best friends forging the path through puberty into adulthood. I was more than a little awkward, and in writing this piece, found myself putting little bits of my experience into each character." The cast includes 20 amazingly talented Bay Area youths between the ages of 12 and 18. "Not only are you seeing a show about teens, but it's being performed on stage by teens as they are going through these issues in their daily lives," said Ryan.
The Young Actors' Theatre Camp is celebrating 18 years of inspiring and educating young performers to "Discover and Develop the Artist Within." Consistently voted year after year as the Bay Area's "Best Overnight Camp" by Bay Area Parent & Parents' Press Magazines and readers, YATC has won multiple awards and was the inaugural inductee into Bay Area Parent Magazine's "Hall of Fame." Co-Founder & Director Shawn Ryan said, "We're known as the place for all the drama-tweens and drama-teens to come each summer. We've created a safe and supportive environment where anyone can express themselves without limits and without fear, in a supportive peer group - that's what's special, and it's something that many kids have said is missing from their daily school lives."
YATC celebrates the recent success of Camp Alumni, Ari'el Stachel who WON the Tony Award in 2018 for The Band's Visit and camp alumni and counseling alumni Jillian Butler, who currently stars in the National Tour of Les Miserables.
"There is no other place like YATC. It is absolute magic!" states Butler, a Brentwood, CA native, now making the world her home as she travels city to city in Les Miserables. "We are so thrilled to watch our camp alumni reaching for the stars and starring in some of the most important theatre in the world," exclaimed Ryan.
In 2019, the Cannes Film Festival invited YATC to screen its films for the third year in a row. Program Director Valerie Dohrer guided several of the campers who acted and directed in two YATC films, "Henry" and "Birthday Girl," through the Cannes Film Festival, allowing them to experience the Independent Film Market from the inside out.
"Inspiring kids to express themselves through the performing arts and encouraging them to get out of their comfort zones to try something new and maybe even slightly scary - you can only achieve that if they know that they're safe and not going to be ridiculed for taking a chance or making a bold choice," said Ainsworth. Students take daily classes in music, dance, stage and film acting, even improvisation; a true exploration of the arts which has turned many first time students into lifelong campers and eventual long-term staff. The Camp boasts a 90% student return rate, with many former campers now studying at Performing Arts Colleges (NYU, Michigan, Boston Conservatory, UCLA and USC to name a few), who jockey for coveted staff positions each summer.
YATC is located in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains and is designed to fit all experience levels of campers. Registration is currently open at (925)858-3548 or e-mailing: Info@CampYATC.com
This performance is 2 hours and 30 minutes long with one 20-minute intermission. It is appropriate for ages 8 and up due to language and themes. Anyone under 8 will not be allowed in the auditorium regardless of ticket purchase.
Show times are Friday, November 15 at 8 pm, Saturday November 16 at 2:30 pm and 8 pm, Sunday, and November 17 at 1:30 pm and 6 pm at The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, SecondStage, 500 Castro Street in Mountain View, CA.
Ticket prices are $28-38 depending on location and can be purchased here. Please note that the City of Mountain View adds a $3 per ticket facility use fee to all orders. The city assesses additional fees depending on method of purchase.