Summer theater camps for youngsters resume in northern Utah

The youthful members of the ancestors chorus perform during a recent staging of "Moana Jr." by the Cache Theatre Company.

LOGAN – In another welcome sign of Cache Valley returning to normal after the coronavirus pandemic, local performing arts groups resumed staging their traditional theater camps for youngsters this summer.

In Garden City, the series week-long youth workshops offered by the Pickleville Playhouse since early July will conclude Friday with a pizza party for participants and an end-of-week talent demonstration for their families and friends.

That workshop will be the fifth theater camp session offering instruction by members of the talented Davis clan in singing, dancing and acting this summer.

Three of those five sessions were filled to capacity with eager young performers.

In North Logan, the Cache Theatre Company’s summer camp sessions were so crowded with aspiring thespians that its final production of “Moana Jr.” was staged at Green Canyon High School with four separate casts in order to give all its participants an opportunity to perform.

In late June, Music Theatre West produced a similar abridged version of the musical “Shrek” starring the participants of its Summer Academy.

That two-week intensive theater workshop for youngsters was also held at Green Canyon High School.

While these theater camps’ final productions all have some minor gaffs and glitches that are typical of any amateur musical, there’s still much to applaud about them.

Chief among those pleasures is the genuine thrill of watching young people expand their horizons on stage.

Cache Valley is renowned for the depth of talent found in our professional and semi-professional performing arts organizations. In many cases, these summer theater camps are the sources from which those talents emerge.

Back in 2019, for example, young Kayli Checketts memorably played the magically animated snowman Olaf in a CTC summer camp production of “Frozen Jr.” Ms. Checketts’ performance was a scene-stealer from start to finish; you couldn’t take your eyes off her.

The gifted young actress went on to create similar theatrical magic as the leading lady in a lovely production of “Tuck Everlasting” by the Four Season Theatre Company in spring of 2020.

As Moana, Kaycee Anderson was a similar stand-out performer in the recent CTC staging of “Moana Jr.”

Another encouraging aspect of these theatrical summer camps is the realization that every minute that their youthful participants spend in rehearsals and performing is time not spent staring at their smart phones or other digital devices.

It’s also gratifying to see an auditorium fairly crowded with an audience that included a high percentage of young people who apparently still enjoy live performing rather than virtual forms of entertainment.

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1 Comment

  • Pamela Gee August 3, 2021 at 8:28 am Reply

    Utah Festival Opera& Musical Theatre also held their youth Broadway Bound musical theatre camp. It was a smaller version than in the past, but an excellent sign of bouncing back after being forced to close the company’s season and education programs last year due to COVID restrictions. It is great to be back and wonderful so many young people are eager and have a way to share and develop their talents.

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