OTA Children’s Theatre group sets ‘Starchild Academy’ tours

The Olympic Theatre Arts Children’s Theatre program, Starchild Academy of Stagecraft & Wizardry — an original, interactive theatrical experience that pulls back the curtain on all the magic happening backstage — offers special theatrical tours starting this week.

Starchild Academy performances are open to the public for about 20-minute-long excursions through the “school” from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, at the OTA facility, 414 N. Sequim Ave. Admission is $5 per person at the door. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Theatre Program.

Written by Lisa Mantchev, this new event starts at “train station” Platform 21, and then introduces the lucky audience members to the four founders of Starchild Academy: the heads of Houses of Actors, Directors, Writers and the Production Team.

Once sorted, the stage manager will escort guests to the Headmaster’s office for introductions.

Attendees may also chance upon rogue theatre critics, students concocting various potions, main stage preparation spells for the upcoming OTACT show, “The Phantom Tollbooth,” and hear about a superstition (or three).

Finally, participants will have the chance to mingle in the Great Hall where various theatrical and magical objects, drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Rosie Von Engel has been hard at work conjuring extra glitter and stardust.

“It’s a dream come true for any set designer; to be able to use the magic of creativity to manifest magical stages… researching alchemy and owls, using one’s imagination to make a broom dance and teach a young person the power of pretending,” Von Engel said.

This class session was directed by Bonne Smith and Mantchev, and included 16 local thespians ranging in age from 7 to 14.

“It’s so fun getting to pioneer something new in this community,” said Amélie Mantchev, a 13-year-old who has been attending OTA children’s theatre classes for the last three years. “Seeing all these kids come together to perform something they are passionate about and getting to be a part of it, it just makes me so happy.”