By Randi Somers
Newly schooled young actors will be on stage at Pier One Theatre this weekend to demonstrate the skills they refined during three weeks of Youth Theatre Skills Camp. They’re performing a variety show, “The More You Know,” directed by two relatively new directors: Casey Parrett, 19 and Adella Sundmark 17, and one who has been involved in theater for about 15 years, Heather (Reichenberg) Benz, 35.
“Heather and I only just met this year, but she formerly directed the Fairbanks Youth Theatre Program many years ago and still continues to do so in Fairbanks,” Parrett wrote. “Adella has been involved with Pier One Youth Theatre for a while and has only been involved with the directing aspect since last year.”
“We had six kids this year in the camp. It was lower than usual, but they’re all hard workers who have really taken the reins on a lot of the work,” Parrett said. “They’re all in almost every scene because of how few of them there are.”
She added that the show is called, “The More You Know,” because of how varied the different scenes are. There are also little quips between scenes that’ll make the title make more sense, but I don’t want to spoil it.”
Parrett said the show has a lot of western scenes, five of which follow a couple of cowboys after they robbed a bank with their friend and then realize they were tricked by him and have to stumble through the desert to try to find safety.
Parrett wrote, “Landon, Mia and Chloe P are all returning campers, But we have three new ones, Lilly, Chloe A and Eleanor (not pictured). They have all been amazing additions to our Youth Theatre family.”
Participants in the camp also learned to locate and create costumes, sets, props and scenery, as well as creating the show and performing. Every year, the first thing the instructors ask the new performers is, “What do you want in the show?”
“Every one of these young people has worked very hard to get where we are,” Parrett said. “With just three short weeks, it may seem impossible to create a show from basically nothing. But between the directors and the kids’ brilliant ideas, we’ve done it.”
Shows are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee at 3:00 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10, with all the usual discounts.
Tickets are available in advance at the Homer Bookstore, as well as at the ticket booth in front of the theatre before each show.
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