This summer nearly 100 young actors, ranging from 6-18 years old and hailing from Urbana, Champaign, and surrounding areas like Mahomet and Mattoon will spend four evenings a week rehearsing for the Urbana Park District’s Youth Summer Theatre production of the Broadway musical Annie!
The park district’s no-cut theatre program means that anyone who auditions is cast in either the ensemble or in a named role. The aim of Youth Summer Theatre is to produce a high-quality show that stands up to (and often exceeds) the quality of adult productions. The directors seek to bring about excellent performances from everyone involved. Standards are high and performers achieve this excellence through immersion in a professional, uplifting environment.
“The Urbana Park District has immense respect for the talents of young people,” explained director April Cleveland.
“We consider it an honor to work with performers who are energized and willing to learn,” she said.
A lot happens in just eight weeks. Cast members learn music, choreography, staging and more. Volunteers–often parents of performers–assist with costuming, set design and construction, and behind the scenes directing performers to their next location. And the first tentative notes sung transform into theatrical numbers that bring a smile to audiences and a lot of pride to the performers.
Annie will run for four evening performances from Wednesday, July 30 through Saturday, August 2 in the Cobb Auditorium at Urbana High School. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets go on sale June 23 and can be purchased at the Phillips Recreation Center, 505 W. Stoughton, Urbana, by phone with a credit card at 217-367-1544 or from a cast member. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $10 for students/seniors and $7 for children 12 and under.