If you go
What: Perry-Mansfield Youth Festival, featuring dance pieces and the musical, “The Water Knows My Name”
When: 7:30 p.m. today and Friday
Where: Julie Harris Theatre, 40755 Routt County Road 36
Cost: Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.
Friday’s show is sold out. For more information, call 970-879-7125.
- Thursday, August 5, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
/ $10 - $15
- Friday, August 6, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
/ $10 - $15
Steamboat Springs Lena Barker said it’s easy to play her part in the Perry-Mansfield Youth Festival’s original musical because she and the fictional Kylie are polar opposites.
“I think I’m a nice person,” Lena said, and her character in the musical “The Water Knows My Name” is somewhat of a bully.
But that doesn’t mean 14-year-old Lena didn’t have more to learn about human interaction in the four weeks she rehearsed the musical with about 50 other eighth-, ninth- and 10th-graders at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.
“I learned how to be better in acting,” she said, “but I also learned about people and how to be a better friend and person.”
The coming-of-age musical is the second part of a two-part Youth Festival put on by the Perry-Mansfield Youth Intensive students.
The Youth Festival is at 7:30 p.m. today and Friday in the Julie Harris Theatre. Friday’s show is sold out. A few tickets remain for tonight’s show at $15 for adults and $10 for children.
The first part of the performance is four dance pieces choreographed by Perry-Mansfield faculty members.
Jennifer Golonka kept with a playful, adolescent theme when she choreographed a modern piece called “Now Serving,” inspired by waiting in long lines on an endless airport layover.
A jazz piece is set to a tune from the “Glee” soundtrack, which fits with the evening’s theme, as the popular TV show also displays the trials and tribulations in the corridors of the American high school.
Eight teens will showcase an aerial dance using canvas slings and ropes, and a ballet piece will channel the 1960s.
“We’ve had such high-caliber dancers,” Golonka said. “They’ve grown leaps and bounds together. For what they’ve done, it’s very impressive.”
After a brief intermission, the curtain will rise on “The Water Knows My Name,” written by Perry-Mansfield faculty member Lori Fischer and directed by Tom Ridgely.
Ridgely said the story is set in an average high school in the Midwest, where it centers on the school’s swim team.
“It’s young people coming to grips with people, town and the mechanics of how we change,” Ridgely said. “All the kids connected to it so strongly.”
Assistant and movement director Alicia White said in the program’s four short weeks, the scenes that featured almost 50 teens on stage teemed with energy.
“They found a group energy that’s amazing to watch,” White said. “They’re a group of positive thinking.”
Ridgely characterized the music as accessible and catchy “pop-folk,” but he stopped short of comparing the show to a localized “High School Musical.”
“It’s not really children’s theater,” he said about “Water.” “It’s just a show about young people. It doesn’t shy away from the issues.”
Issues including activism, environmentalism, discrimination and teen suicide surface, Ridgely said, but so do commentaries on the human condition.
Lena’s character, Kylie, becomes jealous when Brooke, a new girl on the swim team, is better than her and taking away the attention of her friends and even her mother. Although Lena said she didn’t share in many of those experiences, she isn’t too young to notice the parallels with real life.
“I think (Kylie) figures out who she is,” Lena said, “and maybe that she doesn’t always have to win. And that she does love her mom and need her. I think teenagers would really like it.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org