The newly launched Pleasanton Youth Theater Company celebrates Summer 2019 with a boat-load of camps, workshops, and performances. Mark Duncanson, City of Pleasanton Recreation Coordinator and visionary director of PYTC, notes that over 200 youth will take part in the 17 performing arts camps, including: Technical Theater Camp for high school students, five different Musical Theater Camps for ages 5-17, Theater Arts Intensives, Improv Camps, and more.
The expanded vision for youth theater and music development has roots in many award-winning City of Pleasanton youth programs, including the popular Creatures of Impulse, Civic Arts Stage Company, Youth Music Festivals, and High School Music Collaborative.
City of Pleasanton’s Tamara Whitney, Recreation Manager for Civic Arts and Special Events, said, “A theater program provides transferable life-skills such as public speaking, conversation, and creative problem solving, while teaching dedication and commitment to a production. PYTC is a full-circle program for young children through to teens, plus teaching opportunities for parents.”
The three main-stage productions take place at either Firehouse Art Center at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton, or Amador Theater at 1155 Santa Rita Road. Both venues have free parking lots. General Admission tickets are $5 for students, and $10 for adults, available at the door, at the Firehouse Box Office, or online at www.firehousearts.org.
Disney’s Aristocats KIDS (approx. 40 minutes) – Firehouse Arts Center. Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m., and Friday, July 19 at 2:00 p.m. Set in Paris, with a jazzy, upbeat score, Disney’s Aristocats features an eccentric millionaire-ess, her high-society cat and kittens, a rough-and-tumble alley cat with his band of swingin’ jazz cats, a greedy, bumbling butler, and the ultimate cat-napping caper. Performed by campers ages 7-11, joined by their younger counterparts in Lil’ Bit Players ages 5-6. Directed by PYTC newcomer Aubrey James.
Shrek The Musical JR. (approx. 60 minutes) – Firehouse, Thursday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 20 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and the Broadway musical, everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Actors ages 8- 13. 2 casts: Sunrise Cast directed by Bay Area actor Patrick Maravilla; Sunset Cast directed by PYTC Senior Recreation Leader Jeff Zavattero. (Last year this camp registration filled up in 6 minutes noted Mark!)
Urinetown the Musical – (approx. 2 hours including intermission) Amador Theater, Thursday through Saturday, July 25-27, at 7:00 p.m., plus matinee on 27th at 2:00 p.m. Actors ages 12-17; directed by Bay Area Actor, AVHS and UC Irvine graduate Andrew Mondello. Winner of three Tonys and multiple other prestigious awards, this irreverent satire for the new millennium is outrageously funny and touchingly honest. In a Gotham-like city a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. One guy decides that he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.
Plus: Creatures of Impulse Teen Improv Show – Firehouse. Friday, August 2 at 5:00 p.m. Final performance of the troupe’s summer camp.
Teen Playwrights’ Summer Workshop, now finished. Participants ages 11-14 wrote their own one-act musical, and were directed by Sabrina Finke, COI alum. Songwriter and vocal director was Lauryn Hedges, current member of High School Music Collaborative and a prolific songwriter (on youtube under Lauryn Marie).
Here are highlights from PYTC’s upcoming 2019-20 calendar:
PYTC Mainstage: Ages 10-17 by audition only. Frozen JR (based on the Disney animated movie) – Winter Production – Amador Theater, and Honk JR (musical story of the Ugly Duckling) – Spring Production – Firehouse Arts Center Theater.
Sparks: Education based theater program for ages 7-11. 3 sessions to choose from (Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays). Students will audition after they register so production staff can cast within each session. Fall-Winter production is Disney’s 101 Dalmatians KIDS, to perform in January 2020.
Lil Sparks: Education based program for ages 5-6. Learn select songs from 101 Dalmatians and have a small in-class culminating showcase.
College Theater Prep for Teens: see website for details.
Improv for Theater Parents: Parents play theater games in the interest of learning the process of theater in PYTC, and discuss best practices in being a theater parent.
Music Theater Showcase for Parents: Parents learn and perform songs from the shows their children are in.