Arts and Entertainment

Area youths participate in summer theater camp

Christy Rutherford and Robin Hall are at it again. The dynamic duo is hosting yet another summer theater workshop for youths July 14-31.
More than 20 children in grades 3-9 signed up for the camp, a collaboration between the Sequim
High School Operetta Club and Peninsula Family Theater. Rutherford leads the pack as stage director and Hall is music director and choreographer. Together, the two women have led more than 60 productions.
At the end of the two-week period, the group will perform twice for the public — 7 p.m. Friday,
July 30, and Saturday, July 31 — sharing their fresh acting, singing, dancing, stage presence, theater term, make-up and improvisation skills. Tickets are $6 and proceeds benefit the Operetta Club.
The production is titled "Rock Around the Block." The play is about a 1950s teen idol and the
efforts of a group of students to get him to play for free at a local dance. The idol's manager
doesn't want the star to play for free so the dance organizers attempt to sneak in a double
instead since they've already announced that the fan favorite will perform.
"It's a real light-hearted musical," Hall said. "Bring your kids and get out of the heat in a cool
James Willis, Operetta Club president, is one of four high-school age "camp counselors" guiding
the younger, aspiring performers.  "The earlier and more often a young person gets up on stage and performs in front of others, the more confidence and self-esteem he or she gains," Willis said. "It's a great stepping stone for the future and can help in all walks of life."
Willis is a veteran of numerous summer workshops and local productions, including being the lion in "Wizard of Oz," and dual roles as the prince and the wolf in the high school's most recent
production of "Into the Woods."
Hall recalls working with Willis over the years and expressed great joy in seeing the teenager take on a new role as a mentor. "I love seeing the kids grow and develop," she said with a smile.
"I've started with kids who couldn't even talk on stage and by the end of the two weeks, their
parents' jaws drop to the ground because they can't believe the changes in their own child.

A summer theater workshop extravaganza and fundraiser
Who: Sequim High School Operetta Club
What: "Rock Around the Block" musical
When: 7 p.m. Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31
Where: Sequim High School auditorium, 601 N. Sequim Ave.
Tickets: $6 per person, at the door. Proceeds benefit the Operetta Club

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