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Rexburg’s youth are in the spotlight in upcoming summer theater camps

Michael Mackenzie as Les in Rexburg Cultural Arts’ 2023 production of “Newsies Jr.” The City of Rexburg is warming up for another season of youth theater. | Courtesy Kristy Horsley
REXBURG — The Rexburg Cultural Arts Department is warming up for another round of summer theater camps where campers learn the ins and outs of creating a live production and wrap it up with their own show at the end. There are a few spots left in both the children’s and youth camps. Registration is open and tickets are on sale for the performances at rexburgarts.org.
Children ages 6-11 will perform a musical version of the classic children’s book, “Stone Soup.” The camp starts Monday and goes through July 19 with performances on July 19 and 20.
“We like to choose stories that have wonderful morals, interesting roles, and fun aspects that the children can add to the show, such as getting to make their own props and costume pieces,” says camp director Kaatia Larsen. “’Stone Soup’ is a classic tale of a community coming together and learning to make life better by sharing, and we loved what this will teach the children through our mini musical version of the story.”
Youth ages 12-18 will perform “Footloose The Musical, Youth Edition,” which is a one-hour version of the fan-favorite story.
“Last year, we asked our summer campers for suggestions of shows they’d like to participate in next,” Larsen says. “A few of the teens suggested ‘Footloose’ for their age group, and when we looked at the script, we really liked the message, the music, and the characters – not to mention all the awesome dancing – and decided to go for it. When we announced it, everyone was so excited.”
The camps, sponsored by the City of Rexburg and 1 Assist Care, take young theater enthusiasts through the whole process of creating a live production.
“Throughout both camps, youth will receive two weeks of instruction from professionals in the industry,” Larsen says. “They will learn, practice, and apply all aspects of musical theater through group exercises, mini classes, hands-on activities, and one-on-one coaching on things like memorizing lines, body language, expression and emotion, dialects, singing, dancing, how to handle nerves, auditioning, becoming a character, learning how to listen and share a scene, improv, respecting each other and the audience, theater etiquette, tech and backstage tasks, set construction, tech lighting and sound, costume design, and prop creation.”
Larsen, who directed the theater camps for the first time last summer, is thrilled to have many campers returning this summer.
“Many of our registered campers are returning from last year because they had such a great time, learned so much, made such fantastic, lasting friendships, and got to be a part of putting on truly awesome shows at the Romance Theater,” she says. “We even have one camper coming back this year who moved to Washington last fall, and we have one coming from Florida!”

The cast of “Newsies Jr.” from Rexburg Cultural Arts’ youth theater camp last year. The company is warming up for “Footloose” this summer. | Courtesy Kristy Horsley
While the productions are rehearsed for only two weeks, Larsen says the campers work hard and put on a fantastic show.
“Seeing the kids surprise themselves with how much they could learn and do in such a short amount of time, and then seeing them turn around and surprise their friends and families when they got to come see the shows they made together was so exciting,” she says. “I remember multiple people stating that our ‘Newsies‘ production from last summer’s teen camp was one of the best shows they’d ever seen. It was truly special to have the Romance Theater filled to the brim with everyone, and I loved getting to be a part of providing a way for others to develop and share their talents with the community.”
“Storybook Theatre Camp: Stone Soup” for ages 6-11 runs July 8-19, with performances on July 19 at 7 p.m. and July 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at rexburgarts.org or at the door.
“Teen Theatre Camp: Footloose” for ages 12-18 runs July 29-August 9 with performances on August 9 at 7 p.m. and August 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 if purchased online before August 8. After August 8, they will be $14. Tickets can be purchased online at rexburgarts.org or at the door.

Ada May Miller works on a craft project during children’s theater camp in 2023. This year’s campers will learn and perform a musical version of the classic “Stone Soup.” | Emily Miller, EastIdahoNews.com
The post Rexburg’s youth are in the spotlight in upcoming summer theater camps appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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