Kamas will be invaded by pirates, cowboys, princes, princesses, dragons and creatures of the night this year, and the Uinta Center for the Arts is to blame, because it has some big plans according to its newly announced season performances.

UCA director Pam Lockwood decided she needed to hit the ground running with a variety of productions and festivals because the town responded so well to its inaugural Dickens Festival last December.

"We were quite surprised with the turnout," Lockwood told The Park Record. "When the fire department transported Santa down Main Street in a fire truck, we had hundreds of people lined up on the side of the street to watch and welcome him."

In addition, local businesses got into the spirit and not only decorated their windows, hung lights along the street, and also handed out free hot chocolate to families.

Also, High Country Properties created Santa's House each weekend where the kids could tell the jolly elf what they wanted for Christmas, Lockwood said.

"They did all this with very little prep time," she said. "So, this year, we're planning well in advance to make our festivals even better."

The season begins on March 1 with Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance."

"I've had a lot of success with productions of this musical," Lockwood said. "People love 'Pirates,' and even the world itself has become attractive because Johnny Depp has opened up a while new world with 'The Pirates of the Caribbean' films for everyone."

In the past, Lockwood has presented "Pirates of Penzance" during Halloween and added some fun inside jokes that included lines from "Hamlet" and a cameo from the three Stygian Witches from "MacBeth."

"We also added a 'Thriller' dance number with zombies, because the second act takes place in a graveyard," Lockwood explained. "But this year, we're going to give 'Pirates' a Caribbean twist and present it in the spring."

A few things factored into that decision.

"First off, musicals bring in more people than a regular play," she said. "Secondly, our 'Christmas Carol' production last year was very successful, and we felt that a nice and super musical was the best thing to do next."

"Pirates of Penzance" will run through March 16, and will be highlighted by a Pirate Festival, where the town will celebrate all things pirates, Lockwood said.

"We'll open the show and then hold the festival towards the end of the run," she said.

In July, the center will present another musical called "The Medicine Show," which takes place in the Wild West.

"The great redeeming value is that the production is utterly stupid," Lockwood said with a laugh. "But it's a whole lot of fun."

The music for "The Medicine Show" was written by Utahn Karrol Cobb.

"It's like a mixture of Monty Python and 'The Sting,'" Lockwood explained. "It's a con game, but the audience doesn't know where the con is until the end of the show."

One of the challenges of presenting "The Medicine Show" is to keep the crew from ruining the jokes for the audience.

"We have to tell our tech people and musicians not to laugh until after the punchlines are told," Lockwood explained. "Since they know when the jokes come, they have a tendency to start laughing before the actors deliver their lines."

Like "Pirates of Penzance," "The Medicine Show" will be complemented by a themed festival.

"In this case it will be a Wild West festival," Lockwood said. "We haven't settled on a date, but we are working with Oakley and Kamas to coordinate the schedule with the towns' two rodeos. So, we don't have a confirmed date, yet. But we do now it will be in July sometime."

Three months later, everyone will be getting ready for Halloween, and that's when UCA will present "Dracula's Dungeon."

"This will be a two-fold event," Lockwood said. "We will perform a run of 'Dracula: the Musical' and give the audience an opportunity to experience a haunted house called 'Dracula's Dungeon.'"

The premise of the haunted house is "When Drac's away, the ghouls will play."

"The audience will be led through the haunted house before or after seeing the musical," Lockwood said. "The audience will get to see some of the vampire's secrets and meet some of his servants, maids and butlers."

Closing the 2013 season will be another Dickens Festival and a production of "A Christmas Carol."

"It will be bigger than last year," Lockwood promised. "We want to give downtown Kamas a more cohesive look, and, hopefully, have Santa on hand every night and not just on weekends."

In addition to the musicals and festivals, UCA is planning two more events — another musical called "The Three Princes" and the Utah Artists Expo.

While the Artists Expo, which will feature workshops with professional musicians, is tentatively scheduled for August, Lockwood is still working on the dates for "The Three Princes."

"'The Three Princes' is another original musical that is about the three heroes from 'Cinderella,' 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Rapunzel,'" Lockwood said. "They are all brothers, and not only do we have the three storylines intertwining, but all the villains make their appearances as well.

"The production is part of our season, but we just need to find a place to put it, and we aren't going to hook a festival onto it," she said.

Presenting a season as full as this takes funding, so the UCA is offering an array of corporate sponsorships that range from $10 to $15,000.

"The money will help fund the productions and festivals, and will also help the Kamas Theater purchase a digital projector," Lockwood said. "We'e been looking for a projector, so the film studios will continue to allow it to show new films and participate in the Sundance Film Festival."

For more information about the Uinta Center for the Arts and its 2013 season, visit www.uca-arts.com.