Youth Summer Musical Theatre students rehearse on the Salmon Arm First United Church Nexus stage for their upcoming performance of Getting to Know Once Upon a Mattress at Shuswap Theatre. (Contributed)

Youth Summer Musical Theatre students rehearse on the Salmon Arm First United Church Nexus stage for their upcoming performance of Getting to Know Once Upon a Mattress at Shuswap Theatre. (Contributed)

Sixteen youth given third chance to shine on Shuswap Theatre stage

Third performance added for Youth Summer Musical Theatre program’s Once Upon a Mattress

Sixteen Salmon Arm youth are getting another opportunity to share the results of their hard work before a live audience.

On Wednesday, July 14, tickets will be made available for a third performance of Getting to Know Once Upon a Mattress, a student version of the Broadway musical presented by the Youth Summer Musical Theatre at Shuswap Theatre.

Scheduled for Saturday, July 23, this will be the first and only performance open to the general public. Tickets for the first two performances, available only to friends and family members of the students involved, have already sold out.

“I know it’s something the public would and should want to see,” said Kelly Coubrough who, with Michelle Atkins and Lynette Lightfoot, has been providing instruction for the inaugural intensive three-week youth theatre program that has students involved in every aspect of staging a performance, as well as the performance itself.

“We started July 5 and it’s 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. The days consist of music, acting, choreography, costumes, set painting – they’re the ones that are going to be moving the sets on and off stage as we change things during the show, they’re responsible for props, they’re responsible for everything… Our goal was to bring a professional theatre experience to these kids.”

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Coubrough said she and Lightfoot proposed the idea for the youth musical theatre program to Shuswap Theatre, recognizing there was nothing like it going on in Salmon Arm. With Shuswap Theatre’s support, as well as funding from the Shuswap Community Foundation and rehearsal space made available by Salmon Arm’s First United Church, she said it’s been a collaborative community effort.

“Everyone has kind of rallied behind this program which I’m super grateful for,” said Coubrough. “And the kids that we got are, it’s absolutely what I wanted it to be. They are so invested, so dedicated. We’ve only been doing this six days and we’ve done the entire show top to bottom and I’d say they have 80 per cent of it memorized.”

Despite not yet having performed their first show, Coubrough said the program’s 16 students welcomed the opportunity to do a third, which will also be the first public performance with an audience of more than 70 people to be staged at Shuswap Theatre since pandemic restrictions went into effect.

“Once you worked this hard on something you want to get a few chances at it, so it’s great we get to do another show,” said Coubrough, who looks forward to seeing the program return next year, giving another group of students the opportunity to take the spotlight.

Available at shuswaptheatre.com, tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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