Rising Stars theater students present Moana, Jr.

The Rising Stars Theatre Camp is presenting Moana, Jr. in a free public performance on Thursday, June 24 at 2 p.m. in the Holmes High School auditorium, 6500 Ingram Road.

Thirty five students from eight middle and high schools have been attending the three-week theatre camp under the direction of eight choir, dance, and theatre teachers. Participating schools are Holmes and Jay high schools and Hobby, Jones, Pease, Rayburn, Ross, and Rudder middle schools.

Hobby Middle School student Leigha White is attending her first Rising Stars Camp, on the recommendation of her middle school theater teacher, and is playing the role of Moana.

“I’m shy in real life at first but not in theatre which brings me out of my comfort zone,” White said. “I can express myself. You don’t have to come here with a lot of experience because they teach you and it’s all about having fun.”

Approximately 25 students will take on performing roles this year, with another 10 backstage supporting the show with props, costumes, lighting, and set design. It’s a quick production schedule that challenges all involved.

This is the tenth year for the Rising Stars summer camp theatre program which is a collaboration between the Fine Arts and State and Federal Programs departments. In addition to the free public performance, Rising Stars will also present two performances to Learning Tree camp students and one special parents-only production for their families.

“Everything worn on stage, all props, acting, singing, technology, is a result of great teaching and incredible student learning,” says Fine Arts Director James Miculka. “They have learned how to sew fabric, use hand tools, project their voice with articulation, or even stand on stage in front of large groups of people. Incredible ‘life skills’ are acquired by the students in our Title I schools through this program.”

Previous productions included Beauty and the Beast Jr., Aladdin Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr., Alice in Wonderland Jr., Suessical, Jr., Peter Pan, Jr., The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Jr, and Shrek the Musical,Jr.

Middle school art camp students will display their Moana-inspired work in the auditorium lobby on show day.