Hobgoblin site of children's plays this weekThe next Bernadette Peters or Marlon Brando could be performing on a Red Wing stage this week — even if they’re too young to know it.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
The next Bernadette Peters or Marlon Brando could be performing on a Red Wing stage this week — even if they’re too young to know it.
As part of a two-week program known as the Young People’s Summer Theatre Intensive, more than 20 kids have been learning about every piece that goes into creating a successful theater production.
From building sets to designing posters to memorizing lines, the students have worked hard to prepare for this week, and they’re finally ready to show off what they know.
Led by directors Julie Martin and Helene Olson-Reed, the students in grades 3-12 will perform two different shows the next two nights at the Hobgoblin Music Loft on Highway 19.
The first, “Faith County,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday and was produced by the older students. The play will take audience members back to the 1980s.
“It is a comedy about small town life, complete with gossip and unrequited love,” Martin said in a press release.
Small-town characters will fill the stage, including 12-year-old Rhett Waller playing Bubba, the village idiot. Waller is no stranger to the stage. He was recently involved in a Phoenix Theatre production at the Sheldon Theatre and is ready to tackle his role in “Faith County.”
Waller will be joined by 14-year-old Tori Miller playing the part of a beauty shop owner. She is also familiar with acting, having participated in the theater camp in the past and gotten involved in middle school plays.
Although she has plenty of it, Miller said experience isn’t necessary to take part in the Summer Theatre Intensive.
“I would definitely do it, even if you haven’t acted a lot,” she suggested. “It’s a lot of fun and you get a chance to play bigger parts.”
As one of the oldest students in this year’s program, Miller understood the intensity of putting together a successful show and said she enjoyed every aspect.
“I like it all,” she said. “I do backstage work on different shows, but honestly, I like all of it — the acting and the backstage work, everything that goes into a show.”
Eight other students make up the cast of “Faith County,” while the remainder put their effort into producing Friday night’s show, “Charlotte’s Web.”
The classic story of friendship weaved between a spider and a pig will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday at Hobgoblin. Charlotte, Wilbur, Templeton and other favorite characters will come to life as the students display their talents.
Some of the children performing in the show — like 11-year-old McKayla Wilson playing Fern — are new to the entertainment scene. But after only a few days in the Summer Theatre Intensive camp, they’ve been bit by the acting bug. Wilson said she looks forward to doing more plays in the future. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if some of them were at future camps.
“There are great instructors and it’s an awesome experience,” she said.
In addition to acting, students in the program will lend their musical talents to both “Faith County” and “Charlotte’s Web.”
Although the Young People’s Summer Theatre Intensive has never been held at Hobgoblin, directors said they chose the location because it provided “the perfect setting for both plays.”
Cost to attend each production is $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door prior to the shows.