This year’s Foothills Kidshop Theatre production is sure to bring the house down with rousing tunes, rocking dance routines and some wily monsters looking to party.
Twenty-three area children will perform this weekend in the play “There’s a Monster in My Closet.” The performances are scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. in the fellowship hall at Elkin First Baptist Church. There is no admission fee, but donations are gladly accepted.
Director Morgan Harrison, who has led the group for the past six years, said it is a rewarding experience. Harrison said he most enjoys seeing the returning students who come back to participate in the camp each summer.
“I’ve watched Raven (Poindexter) and Grace (Harrison) for six years and now they’re all grown up,” he said. Seeing the children develop a passion for theater and performing arts has been a special experience for Harrison, who is a regular performer with Foothills Theatre as well as several other area theater groups.
Assistant Director Christie Harrison said she, too, has enjoyed seeing the returning students each year as well as newcomers to the camp.
Self-confidence is a big lesson the children learn by doing theater, Christie Harrison said.
“They also learn patience because you’re not always the one on stage and you have to be patient and wait your turn,” she said. “You hope that all this hard work helps them and they take what they learn here and go apply it at school and at home and wherever they are.”
Though the children have a lot of fun, it is also hard work, Morgan Harrison said.
“The kids have worked hard, it’s a big endeavor for little kids to learn an entire show in three weeks,” he said.
The camp meets three hours a day, five days a week for three weeks. In that time they not only learn their lines, songs and dance routines, but they help make the set and costumes as well.
“It’s impressive,” Morgan Harrison said.
Grace Harrison, a veteran performer with Kidshop as well as other Foothills productions, said that getting to make set and costume pieces is one of her favorite parts of the camp.
For this year’s show, the students helped to paint the set as well as sew and paint their costumes and make dream catchers.
Another long-time participant, Raven Poindexter, said that Kidshop was not only fun, but has helped her with other areas in school as well.
“In my class we had to memorize a poem and that was easy cause it was like memorizing lines,” she said. Poindexter said the song “Boys are such a pain” is her favorite from this year’s production. Overall, her favorite show she had done with Kidshop was “C-rhyme and Punishment” in 2013.
“I got to fight with my brother and dump confetti on people, that was fun,”she said. “And I got to be the back half of a dragon, that was funny.”
Addison Blackwelder, who has now performed in a dozen plays, got his start in the Kidshop production “Do Wop Wed Widing Hood” in 2012. He said hearing the laughter and applause from the audience is the best part of performing.
As the week draws to a close and the children prepare for their big debut, the excitement is palpable.
“Come see the play because it is fun to watch,” Poindexter said. “It’s really funny and you get to see all the costumes and the little kids and I think it teaches you a good lesson about things and it’s just a lot of fun.”
The cast includes Jaron Nunnemaker as “Sandman”, Lyelie Klatt as “Stephanie”, Leah Shaw as “Emily, Grace Harrison as “Mom”, Addison Blackwelder as “Tom”, Elijah Jeroslow as “Murray”, Caroline Sowers as “Jamie”, Cama Ball as “Robin”, Cameron Shaw as “Wanda”, Ally Vestal as “Brain”, Jaron Nunnemaker as “Shelby”, Matthew Brown as “Nathan”, Eli Seipel-Parks as “Chris”, Lucas Berrier as “Dream King”, Ada Blackwelder as “Toady”, June White as “Jasmine”, Carly Mullins as “Annie”, Shaelynn Reynolds as “Cena”, Kristie Brown as “Dolly”, Ellie Wooten as “Ella”, Grace Harrison as “Agnes”, Raven Poindexter as “Megan”, Norah Sizemore as “Tara”, Charlotte Whitman as “Mary”, and Morgan Orta as “Kelly”. Also assisting with the show are Leighanne Martin Wright and Claire Grider.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.