Summer Youth Theatre presented Shrek the Musical, Jr. last Monday and Tuesday
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
With the help of local student actors and their parents, the Ramona Bowl Summer Youth Theatre program reenacted the events of Shrek’s whirlwind adventure in “Shrek the Musical, Jr.” at the Ramona Bowl last Monday, July 2, and again on Tuesday, July 3.
The eponymous ogre was played by 18-year-old Jacob Ramirez with Princess Fiona played by fellow thespian Elizabeth Allerton, who co-starred with Ramirez at West Valley High School in their production of “Anything Goes.” 10-year-old student Trinity Taylor brushed up on her routine to become Shrek’s Donkey.
Over 70 local kids took part in the Shrek play, getting the ‘Kingdom of Duloc’ show-ready in under a month.
Leading the citizens of “Duloc” was program producer and HUSD Governing Board Member Stacey Bailey: “This is our tenth year; Janet (Martin), who is the director/choreographer…The first year we did this program, Janet was in the show. Then she went off to UCLA and got her degree in theatre. So three years ago she came back, and assisted me when I (directed) the summer youth theatre.” Bailey says Martin suggested the Shrek play.
Bailey says much of the funds to produce the Shrek play came from fundraising as an alternative to higher fees for parents in the program: “All the children pay a registration fee, and then everything else is fund-raised. Most children’s theatre programs charge anywhere from $300-$500 for a one-week program and one performance,” according to Bailey.
Being a part of the HUSD Governing Board, and having taught theatre at West Valley, Bailey offered that, “I can’t agree to that, educationally. So we went with a $50 registration and then had them fund-raise. And we gave them three weeks and four hours a day. They learn to sing, they learn to dance, they learn to act, and then they get two performances.”
This year’s show may be over, but planning for next year has already begun; Bailey has indicated “Mulan” will be at the Bowl in 2019! “We have people who plan their whole summer around being in the show,” according to Bailey.
All local students between the ages 5 and 18 are invited to sign up for the 2019 Summer Youth Theatre. It matters not if you are a public, private or charter school student. The program extends this opportunity to all students in the San Jacinto Valley. Details will be made available next spring at www.ramonabowl.com