The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Entertainment

June 21, 2013

Young stars in the making

'Annie, Jr.' in production at Alexandria's Youth Theatre Camp

ALEXANDRIA — They’re singing and dancing and acting their hearts out. Kids in the Youth Theatre Camp at The Commons Theatre in Alexandria are going full bore on their production of “Annie, Jr.”

“These kids are having a ball,” said Sandra Jensen, organizer of the camp. This is the first season of the camp in the newly opened Commons Theatre. Laura Hicks and Kata Ewigleben are the high-energy co-directors coaching the kids.

“They keep it moving,” said Jensen. “It’s just been very fun.”

“The kids are awesome. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids,” said Hicks. “They have great little voices. We’re really happy that all these kids are willing and ready to sing.”

The camp has 17 kids who show up afternoons at The Commons Theatre Tuesday through Thursday through July. Each afternoon, they sing, dance, play games, rehearse and more. The youngest member of the camp is six year old Riley Martin. Bradley Jensen is the oldest at 16.

The camp is just underway in June, but the kids are already running through their scenes and songs.

They’re already making it look good, too, under the careful direction of Hicks and Ewigleben.As the kids run through the song, “Hard Knock Life,” and the script calls for them to sweep and scrub, Ewigleben coaches.

“Even though you’re busy cleaning, make sure you never stop singing,” calls out Ewigleben. She cautions the kids to keep their faces directed toward the audience. “Make sure you never turn your back.”

The kids are just eating it up. Several of the “Annie, Jr.” actors said that the singing’s the best part of the summertime experience they all seem to be enjoying to the hilt.

“It’s really, really fun,” agreed Rachael Shaver, 11. Shaver, who is new to the stage, will be playing Annie in the troupe’s production, set for July 26 and 27. “I look forward to every rehearsal.”

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