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Camas, WA — My sons looked at me funny when I told them I was attending Evening On Broadway instead of the hoops battle between Union and Camas Friday night. We’re a little short-staffed this week, so it was one or the other.

Sorry basketball players. We think you’re awesome, but we thought the choir needed some attention. We’ll get you all at the next game.

Watching these kids belt out some challenging songs, dance, act and entertain us was well worth the 2+ hours at Camas Theater. Led by Musical Director, Ethan Chessin, and accompanied by pianist Detelinka Dimitrova, “Evening On Broadway didn’t disappoint. Liz Borromeo was the choreographer.

Opening with the entire choir singing “The Circle of Life” as they walked among the audience onto the stage was dramatic, and it was introduced by actors Omar Shafiuzzaman and John Elder, who acted out a Muppet theme throughout the production — and it was their “Man or Muppet” performance mid-way that stole the show. They can sing, dance, and act.

See their entire performance on our YouTube page:

In total, the youth performed 26 songs from popular Broadway productions, such as “The Lion King,” “Newsies,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Funny Girl,” “Grease,” “La La Land,” and more.

It was refreshing to see the range of talent, and see kids who wrestle and swim for Camas sing a few tunes and dance their hearts out. It’s clear these kids have talents and gifts — and love to entertain.

We also have several clips from the performance at our Video Page. https://lacamasmagazine.com/video/

We can hardly wait for the next Camas play!

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

Broadway Photo Gallery

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On Saturday, November 4, 2017, the Camas High School Theatre group performed “The Laramie Project”, I attended the matinee at 2:00 pm.

There are many specific reasons that individuals join together to share in a common interaction with the arts. Be it music, painting, sculpture, film, photography, dance, theatre or other forms. Generally, the reason is the same, we expect the art to affect us emotionally. Sometimes the emotion is joy, perhaps happiness, or simply to be entertained through humor or wit. The best art tells a story about real or fictional characters, their motivations, their joys and pains, to be revealed through the senses—sound, light, color, speech, smell, taste, or form.

In the case of exceptional art, that story aspires to more than just someone else’s journey discovered through an artist’s medium. Art can attain a higher level, where if the subject is willing, the story unfolds around you in such a compelling narrative that the story is no longer a foreign entity, it enters you and demands that you become part of it. “The Laramie Project” is such an opportunity. If you let it in, you become part of the story. If you let it in, and apply introspection to the experience, you will learn about yourself. In you let it in, and act on what you learned about yourself, it will change you.

Laramie

Actor Forest Myers-Power.

“The Laramie Project” is challenging, raw, emotional material. With data, quotes, and experiences gathered over significant amount of time through observation, interview, and research. The material is then presented in a narrative that depicts just not the journey of those directly involved in Laramie and surrounding locations, but the journey of the playwrights themselves as they interact directly with the setting in space and time. Slowly building the pieces of the puzzle, and then putting those pieces into the larger tapestry of the events surrounding the life and death of Matthew Shepard.

Occasional reexamination of one’s beliefs, prejudices, and biases is a critical component to human progression. Art is often the catalyst allowing one to sort through many attributes of the human condition in rapid succession. Hate, love, guilt, passion, judgement, compassion, anger, disgust, fear, charity, hope, and forgiveness may all run their course through you in the span of just a few hours’ time.

While there are moments of humor, this is not easy or light material. Your experience with it will vary greatly dependent on your willingness to engage it and especially to honestly engage yourself. If you let it in, you will leave with a greater desire for compassion and tolerance. Even towards those things which you don’t believe and for people and cultures that you don’t understand. If we are to heal our world, our nation, our community, even our families—it will take a little more of such desire.

There will be three more showings: This Friday at 7; Saturday matinee at 2, and a final showing this Saturday at 7 pm — all at Camas Theatre (at Camas High School).

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

— by Jon Pugmire

“The Laramie Project” Image Gallery

Photos by Jon Pugmire

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Youth Theater Production Runs Two Weekends – May 20 – 29, 2016 at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School

Washougal, WA — A hit on Broadway, A Year With Frog And Toad was nominated for 3 Tony Awards – including Best Musical. Based on Arnold Lobel’s well-loved books and featuring a hummable score by Robert and Willie Reale, this whimsical show follows two great friends — the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad — through four, fun-filled seasons.

Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A Year With Frog And Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures throughout the seasons.

The jazzy, upbeat score of A Year With Frog And Toad bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical perfect for introducing theater to youngsters, while keeping adults entertained as well.

A Year with Frog and Toad Performances

Performances are May 20 – May 29, 2016 at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School, 1201 39th Street, Washougal WA, 98671.   Tickets are on sale now at journeytheater.org or by calling 360.750.8550.  Pre-sale adult tickets are $14.  Youth and senior tickets are $10.  The May 21, @ 7:00 p.m. showing is a “family day” performance with all tickets $10 in advance per person.  Tickets for all performances will be $4 more at the door.

School Day Performances will be offered at 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25.  Tickets are $6 each for groups of 10 – 99 and $5 each for groups of 100 or more, with one free ticket for every 15 purchased.  Call 360.750.8550 to arrange to bring your class or home school group.

Public Performances

Friday, May 20 @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 21 @ 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 22 @ 2:00 p.m.

Friday, May 27 @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 28  @ 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 29 @ 2:00 p.m.

 

School Day Performances

Wednesday, May 25 @ 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

About Journey Theater Arts Group

Journey is the most dynamic theater arts community in the Portland/Vancouver area, offering dozens of classes in drama, dance, voice and more, as well as producing 12 shows in four locations during the school year and a professional-level community theater musical each summer.   Journey strives for excellence, while providing a welcoming and encouraging environment where kids ages 6 to 18 and their families can build life-long skills and friendships. Journey is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization, with offices located at 1400 NE 136th Ave, Suite 201, Vancouver WA, 98684.  Contact at 360.750.8550 or www.journeytheater.org.

 

Frog

Frog

If you missed it opening weekend, the CHS production of “Grease” is back for its final three showings this weekend.

Times are as follows: Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 2 and 7 pm. The students and director Sean Kelly will impress you.

Grease

 

CHS Theatre presented its opening night of “Grease” Friday to a packed, euphoric house that was ready for some fun entertainment. Clearly, the students and director Sean Kelly have been hard at work preparing the set, their lines, choreography, and songs.
Although the show experienced one technical glitch at curtain time, it was smooth sailing for the next couple of hours.

Grease

Kelly and company’s version of “Grease” was lively, entertaining, creative, filled with comedic moments, and a little irreverence.

It’s “Grease.”

What impressed me was the timing. These youth have been blessed some amazing talent and it showed during the two-and-a-half hour production.

The actors sprang to life with each scene and appeared to have their lines down quite well. And many had a penchant for singing. It was a lot of fun to watch.

Christian Gmelin did an excellent job portraying “Danny,” whose character’s personal struggles come to life during the performance. His affection and often times confusing relationship with “Sandy,” which was played brilliantly by Rachel Smith, took center stage, of course. Smith was able to switch emotions throughout the show seamlessly.

Rebecca Fitzgerald did an excellent job portraying “Rizzo,” one of the show’s main characters. She was gritty, witty, dramatic and enjoyable. Her timing was perfect.

Ryan Maxfield also delivered a stellar performance playing Kenickie, another troubled, but entertaining teenager. Maxfield had many opportunities to show off his talents, and he didn’t disappoint.

Perhaps Andrew Henson’s character, “Rodger,” stole the show. He had many moments to shine and used his comedic timing to entertain a willing audience. He managed to make his character lovable and hilarious, and was even willing to moon the audience during scene 6. That, my friends, takes guts. Getting pantsed and stuffed into a garbage can also got the audience clapping loudly.

 

Grease
Rebecca Fitzgerald as “Rizzo.”
Jake Rust had ample opportunity to show off his singing and performance skills during multiple scenes. He nailed it.
And we can’t forget Austin Miller’s moment in the spotlight as he played “Teen Angel” in one of the most hilarious, and spot on scenes during the show. Miller’s singing and acting were put on center stage and he delivered.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention JT Tumanuvao’s character “Sonny” and the dancing, singing, facial expressions and timing that added tremendous value to CHS Theatre’s production.
There are too many characters to mention in this short space, so I must give credit to the entire cast for an excellent display of their creative talents. I include the backstage and lighting crew in my gratitude. They’ve spent much time preparing.
 
Christian Gmelin as “Danny” and Rachel Smith as “Sandy” did
a fine job portraying the central characters of “Grease.”
“Grease” debuted in 1971 and was directed by Guy Barille at the Kingston Mine Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, with a script based on Jim Jacobs’ experience at William Taft High School in the windy city. Warren Casey collaborated with Jacobs and together they wrote the music and lyrics.
Since that time, “Grease” has been performed many times on Broadway and has gone through several incarnations.
This CHS Theatre version continues Saturday at 7 and will have three more productions on March 14 and 15.
 

Robots!
Only two days left of this amazing play by the Camas High School drama team. Final performances are November 16 at 7 pm and November 17 at 2 and 7 pm at CHS Theatre (aka Camas High School).
The play is directed by Sean Kelly, and the actors have done a fabulous job portraying Rossum’s characters. Kudos also to the set design team, the construction team, and those involved with creating the costumes for this play.
The Camas High School drama team has been working on this play for the past couple of months, and have worked closely to prepare for a great start. They accomplished their goal, and want to make sure the final two performances are their best.

About Robots

R.U.R. is a 1920 science fiction play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti. However, the English phrase Rossum’s Universal Robots had been used as the subtitle in the Czech original. It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word “robot” to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.
To see more videos about CHS Theater, visit www.youtube.com/lacamasmagazine

 

 

Vancouver, WA – Vancouver’s newest theatre, Pacific Stageworks, opens its doors with the well-known script of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Directed by Vancouver’s own Tony Bump, the production features a cast of seasoned performers acting “in the round” at the Heathman Lodge (7801 Northeast Greenwood, Vancouver, WA 98662), July 6-8. Performance times are: Friday July 6, 7:30 pm; Saturday July 7, 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday July 8, 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

Adopting the mottos, “A great city deserves great theatre,” and “We take the drama out of drama,” the new theatre wants to lure in a younger generation of audience member and make their theatre a cultural center-point for Vancouver. Currently looking for a permanent home, the decision to perform The Importance of Being Earnest in a non-traditional venue shows that Pacific Stageworks is not afraid to think outside the box.

 

Oscar
From left: Jillian Sternke and Ashley Hall.

 

The cast includes: Kevin Gordon, Brett Johnson (of Camas), Will Johnson, Julie Dole, Ashley Hall, Kathleen Jung (of Ridgefield), Mike Heywood and Jillian Sternke (of Portland).

Though Earnest is officially a fund raiser, the theatre is keeping ticket costs low to make art more accessible to the community in this financially difficult time. Tickets are $12 (adults) and $10 (students/seniors). General seating tickets can be purchased at the website, www.pacificstageworks.com, or at the door with cash/check. Donations will be cheerfully and enthusiastically accepted at the performance.

Oscar
From left: Jillian Sternke, Brett Johnson, Will Johnson, and Ashley Hall.

 

Vancouver, WA – Vancouver’s newest theatre, Pacific Stageworks, opens its doors with the well-known script of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Directed by Vancouver’s own Tony Bump, the production features a cast of seasoned performers acting “in the round” at the Heathman Lodge (7801 Northeast Greenwood, Vancouver, WA 98662), July 6-8. Performance times are: Friday July 6, 7:30pm; Saturday July 7, 2:00pm and 7:30pm; Sunday July 8, 2:00pm and 7:30pm.

Adopting the mottos, “A great city deserves great theatre,” and “We take the drama out of drama,” the new theatre wants to lure in a younger generation of audience member and make their theatre a cultural center-point for Vancouver. Currently looking for a permanent home, the decision to perform The Importance of Being Earnest in a non-traditional venue shows that Pacific Stageworks is not afraid to think outside the box.

Tony Bump, the Board President, hopes Pacific Stageworks will revitalize the community artistic atmosphere. “Our society is losing the hang of face-to-face communication,” he says. “We look for ways to bring people together to express ideas and experiences in a positive and fun environment. Theatre is the best median to achieve this. We don’t want to just put on plays, though that is a large part of what we will be doing. We want to create an artists’ hang-out – a fun place to go on a date, to meet new people, to try new things and develop talents.”

Says producer, Jennifer Johnson, “Among the performers and staff members, we have decades of theatrical experience and an enormous amount of talent. Earnest is full of word-play and social satire and is incredibly funny. The actors do a fabulous job of bringing it to life.”

 

 

Play
From left to right, Brett Johnson, Jillian Sternke, Ashley Hall, and Will Johnson.

 

Set in England in the 1890s, The Importance of Being Earnest follows two eligible bachelors attempting to balance pleasure and responsibility. Adopting the name of “Ernest” while adventuring, they are unsure of which name to use when proposing to two headstrong, yet romantic heiresses. In comes Lady Bracknell with her own ideas of what constitutes an eligible match, which has everything to do with money, family, and deception.

The cast includes: Kevin Gordon, Brett Johnson (of Camas), Will Johnson, Julie Dole, Ashley Hall, Kathleen Jung (of Ridgefield), Mike Heywood and Jillian Sternke (of Portland).

Though Earnest is officially a fund raiser, the theatre is keeping ticket costs low to make art more accessible to the community in this financially difficult time. Tickets are $12 (adults) and $10 (students/seniors). General seating tickets can be purchased at the website, www.pacificstageworks.com, or at the door with cash/check. Donations will be cheerfully and enthusiastically accepted at the performance.