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Sandy Journal

Sandy Arts Guild hosts youth showcase with theater workshops

Jun 05, 2018 01:15PM ● By Keyra Kristoffersen

Sandy Arts Guild holds theater workshops, auditions and put on a musical revue showcase with kids ages 6 to 18. (Jenn Wilhite)

By Keyra Kristoffersen | [email protected] 

The Sandy Arts Guild will be hosting the 2018 Youth Showcase, a two-week-long series of workshops for children ages 6 through 18 to teach skills in auditioning, scene design and stage management.

“This is the fourth year we’ve done it and each year we get to make it better,” said Karla Marsden of the Sandy Arts Guild.

In previous years, the focus has been on how to audition successfully and then try out for parts in the showcase production; however, this year the workshops have been expanded to include subjects in costuming, lighting, stage management and set production. All taught by theater professionals so they have a more broad overview of what goes into a theatrical production. Students will help create and paint scenery and create a prop that will be used in the production. 

“In the past we’ve concentrated only on auditioning the kids, and now we’re teaching them more about the whole process putting a show together,” said Marsden. 

The first day of the camp will include auditioning workshops as well as learning a song and dance. The second and third day will be a round-robin of workshops as well as callbacks. The show will be cast and rehearsals begin that first Friday. Two weeks later on June 29, the students will perform for an audience. 

“The thing that’s unique about this is everyone that’s in the play can say whether they want to have a featured speaking-dancing-singing role or focus more on dancing-singing or blend with the ensemble if they’re shy,” said Marsden. “We adjust the script so that everybody can have the type of part they want.” 

The showcase is open to anyone ages 6 through 18, not just Sandy residents, and in previous years the number of participants has reached as many as 65 kids. 

Directors Jen Wilhite and Ashley Stonebraker, who have been handling the program since the first year, have created workshops and a performance centered around the theme “Be the Hero of Your Story” with songs from “The Greatest Showman,” “Hamilton,” “Matilda”, “Frozen,” “Mary Poppins,” “Rent” and “School of Rock.”

“Students will leave with a solid understanding of what goes into putting on a musical theater show and will be equipped with the know-how to audition with confidence and learn songs and choreography in a show amount of time,” said Wilhite. 

In previous years, themes have included “Dare to Dream” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from “Hairspray.” 

“It’s about just being the best you,” said Marsden.

The workshops will be June 11–13 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the cost is $20 at Mount Jordan Middle School (9351 S. Mountaineer Lane, Sandy). For those also participating in the performance, rehearsals are at the same time, weekday mornings June 15–29, and will also take place at the school. The cost to participate in the showcase is $80. To sign up, visit the Sandy Arts Guild website.

Preparations are also in the works for the summer production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” August 3–11 at the Sandy Amphitheater (1245 E. 9400 S.).

Marsden said the costume design for the musical is very clever, but probably the most interesting thing so far has been the number of families that have been cast. The actor playing Joseph also has his father playing Jacob and a brother who is Potiphar, as well as nephews in the children’s chorus. There is also a mom cast with her three daughters and another man whose two kids are part of the chorus. 

“We’ve got this family thing going,” said Marsden. “It’s a good mix. We’ve got a lot of new people that we’ve never worked with before as well as those returning.”