The youth taking the Musical Theatre Workshop will be showcasing their 10-minute musicals that they have written their musicals as well as composed lyrics to tell their stories.
The musical shorts will be showcased June 22 at 7 p.m. at the Markay Cultural Arts Center. The event is free to the public.
The three-week workshop began June 5. The first week was led by Pippin Parker, a professional writer and director. Parker has written extensively for animated television series including The Tick and Pocoyo (Kineo Diamante Award, Venice Film Festival) as well as for interactive and new media. He is the older brother of actress, Sarah Jessica Parker.
The next two weeks focused on composing scripts, music and staging. Those sessions were under the direction of Minda Hager and Greg Miller of The University of Rio Grande.
This workshop is funded by the Imagine Arts Endowment/University of Rio Grande with a partnership with the Southern Hills Arts Council.
The following students will be taking part in the showcase:
• Bethany Armstrong, is a 16-year-old from Jackson. She is the daughter of Chris and Laura Armstrong. Bethany attends Oak Hill High School. Her past acting and musical experiences include portraying a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz, a Dalmatian in 101 Dalmatians, a harem girl in Aladdin, and a servant in Taming of the Shrew.
“I wanted to take this workshop because I feel like the workshop would help boost my confidence,” Bethany said as to why she participated in the workshop.
Bethany’s musical, “Growing Payne’s”, is about four sisters that slowly grow up and move their separate ways. “I wrote this musical because I feel that I have the same relationship with my family,” Bethany said.
• Savannah Crisp is the 17 year-old daughter of Crystal and Matt Crisp. She attends Jackson High School, and classes at Ohio University.
Her past acting and musical experience includes parts in Annie, The Jungle Book, Into the Woods and Emma!.
Savannah said she took the workshop, “to improve my acting skills and have new experiences.”
“The Girl in the Closet” is about a missing key and a fight and it seems there is no way out. “On the first day, someone said something about getting locked out of a closet snf it spiraled from there,” Savannah said of her inspiration for the musical.
• Marah Hager, is a 19-year-old from Rio Grande. She is the daughter of Kevin and Minda Hager . She graduated from River Valley High School. Marah is currently attending the University of Rio Grande. Marah’s past acting and musical experience includes parts in Steel Magnolias as Shelby; Emma in Emma! A Pop Musical; a girl in Hide the Horses; a ghost in a Christmas with a Welsh Accent; Small Town, Big Dreams; a waitress in That was Bob; Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, as well as a part in The Twelfth Night.
“I was interested in participating in this workshop in the hopes of expanding my performance capabilities to support future acting challenges and pursuits. It has been a very creative adventure,” Marah said.
Marah’s musical, “Our Place” is a about the complicated avenue of miscommunication and faulty perspective, with an optimistic ending. “I wanted to explore the concept of perception and the realization that no one is exactly as you perceive them to be,” Marah explained about the inspiration to write, “Our Place”.
• Evelyn Harley, is the 13-year-old daughter of Megan Malone and Jeremy Harley. She is a student at Sts. Peter and Paul School. Her past acting and musical experience include portraying parts in The Sound of Music, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King Jr., Song of Myself, and Christmas with a Welsh Accent.
Evelyn said she participated in the workshop, ”because it looked cool and I want to work on my acting.”
For this production, Eveyln has a part in “Growing Payne’s” and “Together Forever”, a musical about two girls getting their hands glued together.
• Miriam Harley is the 15-year-old daughter of Megan Malone and Jeremy Harley. She attends Jackson High School. Her past acting and musical experiences include Ursula in Little Mermaid, Jr.,; Emma in Schoolhouse Scholars; Mother Abbess in Sound of Music Jr.; Peach in James and the Giant Peach; as well as parts in Addams Family, Song of Myself and Childs Christmas in Wales.
“I took the workshop to improve my acting ability and to have a fun time writing a musical with friends,” Miriam said.
“Just Trust Me” is about two people who learn that not everyone is trustworthy. “Real life experiences,” is what Miriam said inspired her musical.
• Kylee Hendershott is the 15-year-old daughter of Melissa and Steve Hendershott of Wellston. She attends Wellston High School. Her past acting and musical experience includes: Alice in Wonderland Jr.; At the Bandstand as Evelyn Finklestein; Gretl Von Trapp in The Sound of Music; Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Jr. “I wanted to take this workshop because I had never thought of actually creating a musical of my own and was excited to try it our as well as gaining more acting and musical experience,” Kylee explained.“How We Remember” is about an elderly couple that has been together for almost 70 years. One day, as they are enjoying the park, they notice two little girls and are moved to tell the story of how they met, however, they run into problems remembering exactly how it happened. “A while back I heard the song, “I Remember it Well” from Gigi and I always thought it was a cute and funny idea. I wanted a musical light and funny and not too serious,” Kylee said of her inspiration.
• Lillian Sizemore is the 15-year-old daughter of Katie and Phil Sizemore of Wellston. She attends Wellston High School. Her acting and musical experience include school plays and university short films. Some of her roles have included Ariel in the Little Mermaid Jr., The March Hare in Alice in Wonderland Jr., and Harriet in Emma!.
“I took the workshop to gain experience and to get to do the thing I love with the great people who always are in the workshops,” Lillian said.
“Nonromantic Getaway” is about a man and a woman who get stuck on an island freshly broken up. This gives them time to think about their feelings and moving forward. “I thought it would be fun to have a musical with a kind of unexpected way it goes. I wanted to stray away from the usual falling in love business,” Lillian said of her musical.
• Derek McCarty, is an 17-year-old Oak Hill High School student. He is the son of Roy and Tammy McCarty of Oak Hill. His past acting and musical experience include portraying a Baker in The Beauty and the Beast; the Mayor in the Wizard of Oz; Mike T.V. in Willy Wonka; Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid; Scar in The Lion King; the Genie in Aladdin, and in Small Town, Big Dreams.
“I took the workshop to improve my writing and acting capabilities,” Derek said.
Derek wrote “Brother Mine”. The musical is about two brothers who are left on their own with no money, so the older brother teaches the younger one some questionable methods of making some money. “ I have always been interested in thieves and their motivation for theft,” He said of what inspired “Brother Mine”.
• Zack McGowan, the 16-year-old son of Zack McGowan and Stephanie Cottrell, attends Jackson High School. His past acting and musical experience includes You can’t take it with you, The Little Mermaid as Prince Eric; James and the Giant Peach as James and Lucas Bieneke in Addams Family.
“I took this workshop to improve my acting skills and to become a better musician under a time limit,” Zack said of what prompted him to attend the workshop.
• Kendra Perry, just graduated from Jackson High School, She plans to attend Long Island University in the Fall. She is the 18-year-old daughter of John Perry and Michelle Sanborn. Her past acting and musical experience include Jackson High School’s productions of Annie, The Jungle Book, Into the Woods, You Can’t Take It With You, The Little Mermaid, James and the Giant Peach and the Adam’s Family. She also was part of the RTG Theatre Guild production of Emma! A Pop Musical.
“I am attending college for musical theatre and this summer I wanted to get as much experience as I could. I’ve never tried writing a show, and so that was really exciting,” Kendra explained as to what she attended the workshop.
“Misunderstandings”, focuses on a mother and son talking in their kitchen. The son, Alex, wants to tell his Mother that he is gay, but doesn’t know how. He wants to be accepted and they struggle with understanding each other. “I wanted to convey the message of acceptance and with the recent events and the celebration of Pride month, I thought this would be a great way to do it,” Kendra said of the inspiration to create her musical, “Misunderstandings”.
• Emily Polcyn is the 16-year-old daughter of Anthony and Carol Polcyn. She attends Jackson High School. Her past acting and musical experiences includes Alice Beineke in The Addams Family; Aunt Spiker in James and the Giant Peach; Jetsam in The Little Mermaid; and Gay Wellington in You Can’t Take It With You. “After leaving high school, I want to pursue performance and writing. This workshop gives me the ability to cohesively apply both of these interests.
“Independence Day” is about the struggle of a couple, Madelyn and Max Baldwin, to reconcile their relationship after Max returns home after serving five in the war. “I wanted to express the effort required to keep a relationship working, despite conflict and that “true love finds a way’,” Emily said of the inspiration behind her musical.
• Kaltra Woltz of Coalton, is the 13-year-old daughter of Rudin Woltz and Tom Woltz. She attends Sts. Peter and Paul School. Her past acting and musical experiences include parts in The Sound of Music, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King Jr.
“I participated in the workshop because it sounded like something I would like,” Kaltra said.
“Together Forever” is about two girls who get their hands glued together.” It kind of just came to me,” Kaltra said of the inspiration behind, “Together Forever”.
Also participating in the workshop are Savannah Crisp, Zack McGowan and Lily Sizemore.
Alyssa Russell of Mason, West Virginia has been assisting the youth composing the music for their musicals, but she said that many of the youth already had an idea of a melody. She is a music teacher at Ashton Elementary in Mason, who also teaches voice and piano. She is serving as the accompanist for the musicals.
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