ANNOUNCING THE 2017 SUMMER MAIN STAGE PERFORMANCE CAMP

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls !  We are thrilled to finally reveal our Main Stage Performance Camp Production!  Each summer, we have seen talented teens rise to the challenge of rehearsing and staging a show in under 3 weeks.  We wondered…could our impressive community of teen performers tackle the impressive feat of staging a Regional Premiere Production??  The answer, of course, is a resounding YES!  

WANDA’S WORLD

CHET Wandas World (Savana Santos)

This summer, we invite you into a wonderful world- WANDA’S WORLD.  The story of a girl, who like most middle-schoolers, just wants to fit in.  It’s a touching story of acceptance, self-awareness, and confidence, with fun and clever songs you’ll be singing all summer long.  We can’t wait to see this exceptional show come to life on our stage!

Auditions: June 12-14, 2017. You’ll want to prepare a contemporary song (not from the show) and wear clothes you can dance in, and bring sheet music for a provided piano accompanist. More information about auditions will be announced closer to the dates.

Rehearsals: July 3-20, 2017, 9 AM – 5 PM

Show Dates: July 21-30, 2017

Tickets go on sale June 1, 2017!

CHET Wandas World (Grant Farmer, Dayton Job, and Andrew Cliatt)

WANDA’S WORLD is a feel-good, family musical for the “tween” in all of us. It tells the story of Wanda Butternut, the popular host of the hit TV talk show, Wanda’s World, where kids call in to get advice from Wanda to solve their problems. Wanda is beautiful, confident and always knows what to say… in her fantasy. In real life, Wanda is a middle school girl with a big birthmark on her face, who is terrified to deal with the first day of school in a new town. Gradually, with the help of an extraordinary teacher, she overcomes incredible odds and learns to follow her own path.
Photos Courtesy of Quincy Community Theatre
Photos by Chet Coonrod

Director Interview: Chris Taylor with A Charlie Brown Christmas

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M. Hoffman: Charlie Brown celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.  What do you think it is about the show that makes us return to it again and again?

C. Taylor: I think that A Charlie Brown Christmas has tremendous appeal, both to young actors who are being exposed to Charles Schultz for the first time, and to parents who grew up reading the comics in their daily papers. The show itself tells a great story. It teaches us about the importance of caring, sharing, working together, and acceptance. I think there is a little bit of us in each of the Peanuts characters, and whenever we watch anything Peanuts, we are reminded of the naïveté (Sally), the whimsicality (Peppermint Patty), the grouchiness (Lucy), and the innocence (Charlie Brown) that exists in all of us.

M. Hoffman: I’ve heard roller skating is a part of the audition requirements for this show.  Are kids really going to be roller skating up on stage?

C. Taylor: Yes, we have the kids roller skating in the opening scene, Christmastime is here. My overall vision for the show has been, and will continue to be, a comic strip coming to life. When we read the comics, we remember seeing the kids skating at the rink, Snoopy stealing Linus’ blanket, etc. and I want those moments to be seen on stage as much as possible.

M. Hoffman: What are the ages of the performers for this show?

C. Taylor: Kids ages 10-17 will be on the stage.

M. Hoffman: I’m obsessed with the mellow jazz soundtrack Vince Guaraldi wrote for the movie.  Will I hear the same tunes live?

C. Taylor:  Yes, you will hear some wonderful Piano work from Andrea Hall, as well as some background percussion from Taylor Belote. The tunes from the movie are replicated almost exactly for the stage.

M. Hoffman: Thanks Chris!  I can’t wait to see it!  Auditions are coming up November 5th for those interested in being a part of this magical holiday experience.

More information here:  http://www.spokanecivictheatre.com/audition/?aid=109

Spokane Civic Theatre Academy to present Disney’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

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Spokane Civic Theatre’s Academy will present Disney’s High School Musical as its Summer Academy Musical. Performances run July 22-31, 2016, and are the culmination of a three-week theatre camp for 13-18 year olds.

This audition-only camp brings together Spokane’s talented teenage musical theatre performers to hone their skills, make new friends, and have fun producing a musical.

Auditions for Disney’s High School Musical will be May 23, 24 & 25 at Spokane Civic Theatre. Actors are not required to have previous experience, but should come prepared to sing a verse and chorus of a contemporary song not from this production along with piano sheet music for provided accompanist.

Disney’s High School Musical is directed by Andrew Ware Lewis, with music direction by Drew Olsen, and choreographed by Hannah Farley.

Synopsis:

It’s the first day after winter break at East High. Basketball team captain and resident jock Troy discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. They cause an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical, led by Ms. Darbus. Although many students resent the threat posed to the “status quo,” Troy and Gabriella’s alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well.

For more information on auditions please keep an eye on our website in the coming weeks: www.spokanecivictheatre.com/audition/

About Spokane Civic Theatre Academy:

Spokane Civic Theatre Academy features a variety of courses for a wide range of age, interest, and skill level. Whether a seasoned actor or making a stage debut, we invite students of all backgrounds to join us.

The Academy strives to offer students the opportunity to explore their own creativity and understand all aspects of theatre in an atmosphere of fun and cooperation rather than competition. This helps to promote a nurturing environment that fosters personal development on and off the stage.

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The mission of Spokane Civic Theatre is to foster and operate a volunteer live community theatre of high artistic merit. 

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Contact: Spokane Civic Theatre, 509-325-2507

Miranda Larson, Marketing and Communications Manager
mlarson@spokanecivictheatre.com

Guest Blog: Legally Blonde’s Chris Sherwood

Chris Sherwood, Assistant Music Director of "Legally Blonde".

Chris Sherwood, Assistant Music Director of “Legally Blonde”.

Today’s guest blogger is Chris Sherwood. He came to Spokane Civic Theatre for our run of Legally Blonde, The Musical as the Assistant Music Director.

Chris is an award-winning composer with credits in film and video games, but his true love is musical theatre. Chris has both played keys and music directed shows across the nation, from New York to Washington, but is truly excited to have been part of his first production here at Civic.

The Joys of Working with the Cast of Legally Blonde, The Musical

by Chris Sherwood

If you’ve been anywhere near Spokane Civic Theatre during the past four weeks, then you know the theater has been completely taken over by bubbly, energetic and talented teenagers of all ages and backgrounds.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me introduce you to a side of Civic you may not know much about, our incredible Academy program.

The hardworking, energetic Academy cast of "Legally Blonde, The Musical" at Spokane Civic Theatre

The hardworking, energetic Academy cast of “Legally Blonde, The Musical” at Spokane Civic Theatre.  Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

To some, the prospect of spending eight or more hours a day with these young adults would seem crazy, and there are times throughout the process where I’m sure many of us would agree with you. However, I can honestly say that getting to work with these young actors has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career in music theater.

As Assistant Music Director, I get the unique opportunity to not only work with the actors, but also to watch as they interact with the creative team behind this year’s academy production of Legally Blonde, The Musical. Even before the official first rehearsal, several of the leads from the show gave up their weekend to come in and work with our wonderfully talented Music Director Benjamin Bentler.

Ben came over from Seattle specifically for Legally Blonde, with past music credits at the award-winning Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle and the Marriott Theatre in Chicago. This gives you an idea of the level of quality Spokane Civic Theatre provides students while they take part in the high school Academy program.

Elle makes her decision to go to Harvard. Her Trio counts out the steps: 1, 2, 3!

Elle makes her decision to go to Harvard. Her Trio counts out the steps: 1, 2, 3! Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

As part of an Academy cast, a lot is expected, especially in a show as huge and difficult as LegallyBlonde, The Musical. I can’t put into words the commitment I’ve seen from these kids, whether it’s hearing James Hogstad tirelessly belt out his part from down the hallway, or watching the Delta Nu Trio (Autumn Plucker, Madeleine Rush, Sarah Wier) come rushing full speed out of the theater to excitedly show me how they finally aced their harmonies.

I would be remiss to not also mention the growth of Sierra Perrins (Elle Woods) and Dominick Betts (Emmette Forrest) from two timid individuals in rehearsals to the confident rock stars you now see on the stage. I could write pages about every cast member in this show, and I apologize for not publicly acknowledging each person’s accomplishments, since they all truly deserve it.

As we move into this last weekend of the show I can honestly say that every member of our creative team, from Delvone Bullis (Director) to Hannah Farley (Choreographer), has sore face muscles from smiling so much. We love watching this cast not only connect with the show, but also grow exponentially as performers.

Emmett (Dominick Betts) and Elle (Sierra Perrins) help friend Paulette (Siobhan Flanagan) get her Rufus back!

Emmett (Dominick Betts) and Elle (Sierra Perrins) help friend Paulette (Siobhan Flanagan) get her Rufus back! Photo Credit: Heads & Tails Photo

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those individuals and organizations that have given to our scholarship fund. Many of our cast members would not have been able to be part of this production without your support. If you’d like to be a part of helping a talented young person attend future academy programs here at Civic, download a donation form here.

Don’t miss the final weekend of Legally Blonde running now through August 17th!

Guest Blog: Legally Blonde’s Siobhan Flanagan

Siobhan Flanagan, today's guest blogger, and "Legally Blonde"'s "Paulette"

Siobhan Flanagan, today’s guest blogger, and “Legally Blonde”‘s “Paulette”

Our guest blogger today is Siobhan Flanagan! She currently plays “Paulette Bonafonte”, a quirky beautician, in our current Summer Academy production, Legally Blonde, The Musical!

Siobhan is a recent graduate of Lewis & Clark High School, where she was heavily involved in the Tiger Drama department and will be heading to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA in the Fall.

Siobhan joined a cast of 25 other members, all aged 13-18, to put together this full musical in just 16 rehearsals! She shares with us a bit about the production, the story, and her experience bringing it to life.

Why I Am Excited to be a Part of Legally Blonde, The Musical

by Siobhan Flanagan

Paulette helps counsel Elle while her Greek Chorus looks on.

Flanagan as “Paulette” helps counsel Elle (Sierra Perrins) while her  sorority sisters (Sarah Wier, Autumn Plucker, and Madeleine Rush) look on. Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

Legally Blonde, The Musical is one of my favorite shows and I am proud to be playing Paulette in Spokane Civic Theatre’s Academy production.

The film Legally Blonde came out in 2001, starring Reese Witherspoon as sorority girl, Elle Woods. Elle leaves the comfort of Malibu to follow her ex-boyfriend, Warner, to Harvard. While Legally Blonde is in many ways a typical romantic comedy it is also an important and revolutionary story about being true to oneself, defying stereotypes, and one of the greatest stories of girl power.

I believe the musical takes the story a step further.

Elle and her cohort behind the scenes at the Wyndham trial.

Elle and her cohort at the Wyndham trial. Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

In the film, Elle Woods faces discrimination at Harvard and she responds by working hard to prove herself. She succeeds and joins the legal team defending Brooke Wyndham, an exercise guru on trial for murder. After Elle makes a discovery that helps turn the trial in favor of Ms. Wyndham she deals with an alarming discovery that her professor never took her seriously. She was there only because she was a young, gorgeous blonde.

The movie is a fantastic story that every young woman should know. The musical is even better. In the musical, Elle only succeeds with the help of Emmett Forrest. He helps her buckle down and commit to learning by sharing his story and reminding her, “with the chance we’ve been given, we’ve got to be driven as hell.” Emmett’s role in the musical is larger then in the film. His character reminds the audience of the incredible influence of friends. Later in the musical it is a fellow student, Vivienne, who disliked Elle Woods from the moment she walked into the room who eventually helps Elle get back on her feet. And finally at the end of the musical it is Elle who makes the move to be with her true love.

Inmates get “Whipped Into Shape” by Brooke Wyndham (Brittany Mendoza-Pena) Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo.

Legally Blonde, The Musical at Spokane Civic Theatre is an Academy production. The Spokane Civic Theatre Academy offers classes for year-round for people of all ages to learn and grow as performers, artists, and community members. This performance camp for 13-18 year olds is an audition only, three-week intensive with 9am to 5pm rehearsals and two weekends of performances.

There is not a better show for young people to come together to bring to life. Elle’s journey is inspiring and the choices Elle makes and way she chooses to see life is an example to us all and a wonderful thing for young people to be exposed to. Elle is president of her sorority. She is happy and content with her life, but when her boyfriend breaks up with her she decides to go out and fight for him and her own happiness. Despite facing struggles and prejudice from those around her Elle continues to fight and prove her self-worth to everyone.

One of my favorite messages comes at the end of show in a conversation between Elle and, Warner, her ex. Instead of brushing him off or attacking him for the way he treated her, she holds her head high and says thank you. Elle is a character who looks at her past as a learning experience. She sings, “The day you broke my heart, you handed me a chance, to make a brand new start. Even if I crash and burn ten times a day, I think I’m here to stay, I’m gonna find my way.”

You can find your way to Spokane Civic Theatre August 13-16 at 7:30 pm and on August 17 at 2:00 pm to experience this amazing story for yourself.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Never Enough Christmas Pageants

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens this weekend, Dec 14 – 15, 2013, at Spokane Civic Theatre. This is an Annual Scholarship Benefit Performance directed by Chris Taylor and the Sunday performance is the main event in our 6th Annual Scholarship Fund Benefit. There will be a silent auction at 6PM and desserts catered by Celebrations Bakery.

Tickets for the Saturday performances will be $10 for ages 13+ and $5 for ages 5-12. All tickets for the Sunday evening Scholarship Benefit show will be $15.

Performed by Academy students, ages 8 to 17.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Spokane Civic Theatre

What’s the play about? What is the overarching message?

This play is about 6 wild and rowdy kids called the Herdmans who infiltrate the yearly Christmas pageant. One of the kids learned that the minister gives out free desserts and that was all the Herdmans needed to hear. Because of their status as rough and tough kids, they get to bully their way into the main roles of the Christmas pageant (Mary, Joseph, the Angel of the Lord, etc.). All this suggests that this year’s pageant is going to be the worst ever, but, in a touching tribute to the true meaning of Christmas, the pageant ends up being the best Christmas pageant ever, and the Herdmans discover what it means to be selfless and caring.

What are the kid’s thoughts on the play?

The kids have really embraced their roles. I love how the actors are bringing a lot of humanity to their characters. These are kids in grades 3-8, so we’re not talking about kids with decades of stage experience, but they are really embracing why their characters say and do what they do without making them stereotypes or one-dimensional.

How does acting in a play like this influence the kids ? What makes theatre good for kids?

This is a great way for kids to gain experience with acting and public speaking, while at the same time having fun (hopefully :)) and giving back to their community. Many kids are afraid to raise their hand or go to the chalkboard in school because they’re afraid they’ll be wrong or get laughed at. For my money, this is the biggest obstacle that any student faces. These plays give kids the opportunity to gain confidence and not be afraid to make mistakes, which is the only way we grow.

How can we support the acting bug in the kids?

Some children have an instinctive desire to create and be on stage. Some don’t. It’s important as teachers and adults to recognize and support whatever aptitudes your child has. Don’t discourage your children from acting because you think it’s not a lucrative career hobby. Each child has their particular gifts.

Ebenezer Scrooge at Spokane Civic Theatre

Join us this Sunday, December 9 for our 5th Annual Scholarship Fund Benefit…

The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge

 

7:00 P.M. Main Stage

By Mark Brown

Directed by Chris Taylor

 

Doors open at 6:00 P.M. for a silent auction with over 16 items, including a personalized brick paver, $100 coupon for summer Academy, gift cards, hockey tickets and more!

 

Desserts catered by Celebrations Bakery.

Thanks to generous funding from people like you, we were able to provide 121 scholarships, over $12,000, from Winter of 2011 through Fall of 2012. 

“I was so impressed by the program and the improvements that I saw in Ella’s reading and comprehension.” – Erin Wissing, Scholarship Parent  

Tickets $15 (includes pre-show auction & desserts)

Call the Box Office at 509-325-2507 or go online

And consider all that we offer for silent auction

Current Items for Academy Benefit Silent Auction:

1. Beautiful Photo Studio – Portrait session & 11×14 mounted heirloom portrait, Value: $250

 2. JVC stereo headphones, Value: $ 20

 3. $25 gift card to CVS/pharmacy, Value: $25

 4. $25 gift card to Red Lobster, Value: $25

 5. $500 gift card to RedStar Worldwear, Value: $500

 6. Fall Women’s Jean Jacket, Value: $ 110

 

To find out more about Spokane Civic Theatre Academy, check out the Academy section of the Spokane Civic Theatre website, keep an eye on Civic News, stay up to date with cast and crew on our Facebook Page and keep an eye on Pinterest for some pinnable images of all things theatre! Don’t forget, we’re active on Twitter as well: SpoCivicTheatre. Upcoming productions for the Season to Inspire include White ChristmasEscanaba in LoveNext to Normal, On Golden PondTreasure IslandGrease and more.