Egyptian teaches stage craft to next generation
July 7, 2009
A boy finds a tollbooth in his bedroom and is transported to a land of fantasy in the "The Phantom Tollbooth," the Egyptian Theatre’s summer play starring kids.
The play is the capstone project for nonprofit theater’s three-week Youtheatre camp for young actors, singers and performers, which began Monday. Spots are still available for kids 9 to 14. Classes start in the afternoon and will be held in the basement of the Main Street Mall’s basement annex as well as across the street on the Egyptian’s main stage.
Parents may be familiar with "Tollbooth." The play began as a children’s book by Norton Juster and was later adapted into a play. Jane Talley, program director, decided to go off-script by adding music. Gill Williams, who will be a senior in the fall at Park City High School, penned a series of musical interludes for the show.
"We’ll do singing, dancing, a little bit of everything," Talley said. But most of all, kids will be having fun.
Directors Allison Robbins and Rebecca Sands bring years of experience to their new roles. Both have performed in productions at The Egyptian and attended its summer camps as kids. Sands described drama workshops as a time to learn, indulge one’s imagination and forge friendships. "Kids really get to be themselves," she said.
Robbins helped choose "Tollbooth" for her 12-person cast, and wanted to share the story with kids. "It was one of my favorite books," she explained.
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Kids don’t have to be experts to join the camp. Many have appeared in previous Egyptian productions; others are beginners, Robbins said. Ingrid Jorgensen, 14, said she wanted to sign up for the theatre training camp simply because "it’s fun and you get to be in the spotlight," she said.
Also in the spotlight are students from the Kimball Art Center’s Young Artists Academy. Members of the class painted the set for "Once On This Island," and they plan to do it again for "Tollbooth," according to Talley. The show premieres Friday, July 24, at 5 p.m. with an encore matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday.
For tickets or to sign up for the Theater Training Camp, call the Egyptian Theatre box office at 649-9371 and ask for Jane.