By Jessie Wagoner
McPHERSON—The McPherson Community Theatre is looking for lost boys and girls, pirates, natives, The Darling family and Pan to take part in the 2021 Summer Stage Youth Theatre Day Camp. This year, the Summer Stage production will be of “Peter Pan Jr.,” with auditions being held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 18, at the McPherson Opera House.
Scott Steinert, director of the show, said this will be the first community production for the year, and everyone is excited to be back on stage. Last year’s productions were canceled due to COVID-19. Steinert said Summer Stage is a great way for children to be introduced to the theatre in a low stress and encouraging environment.
“With our camp, everyone that signs up is part of the show,” Steinert said. “There are auditions, in that we have them sing a little bit. This is not a high-pressure audition. They have support throughout the audition process. It just helps us figure out where everyone fits best in the show.”
Steinert said many of the adults assisting with the camp have backgrounds not only in theatre but also education. This balance provides a fun and engaging experience for children, perfect for those new to the stage. Approximately 60% of the children who participate each year are new, while Steinert said some children are participating for their third year.
Each Summer Stage production is a musical. This gives children the opportunity to experience all elements: singing, acting and choreography. Summer Stage is open for youth 10 to 15 years old and costs $150 for the week. There is room for 50 children to participate.
“This year, it is the musical ‘Peter Pan, Jr.,’” Steinert said. “We made the show decision because we weren’t sure COVID wise what things would be like. The actors are in three distinct groups—pirates, brave girls and lost boys. That way we can work with the kids in small groups.”
The day camp begins with auditions from 2 to 6 p.m on Sunday, July 18. Children do not need to come prepared for auditions. The music director will teach all the children a song, which will be used for auditions. They will be cast and go home Sunday evening with their roles and a script. Students will participate in camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, July 19, through Friday, July 23, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 24. Camp will be held at the McPherson Opera House.
“Two community performances will be held on July 24,” Steinert said. “One at 11 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. We will accept a free will donation at the door. The concession stand will be open.”
An online enrollment form for Summer Stage can be found on the McPherson Opera House website or directly at https://forms.gle/SphXVXEvUazi8EM18.
“For parents that are on the fence, it is a fun week, a very busy week for their kids,” Steinert said. “It will be the best $150 they will spend all summer.”