Rising Stars theater students present The Music Man, Jr.

The Rising Stars Theatre Camp is presenting The Music Man, Jr. in a free public performance on Monday, July 2 at 2 p.m. in the Jay High School auditorium, 7611 Marbach Road.

Seventy students from eight middle and high schools have been attending the day-long theatre camp for the past three and a half weeks under the direction of eight choir, dance, and theatre teachers. Participating schools are Holmes and Jay high schools and Jones, Neff, Pease, Rayburn, Ross, and Zachry middle schools.

4 actors sitting side by side on stage front

Jay High School junior Arlene Serrato is attending her fourth Rising Stars Camp and says the energy and opportunity to work with other directors and students keeps her coming back for more each summer.

“If this camp didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be so involved in theater and I wouldn’t have anything to do in the summer,” Serrato said. “I love it.”

Approximately 50 students will take on performing roles this year, with another 20 backstage supporting the show with props, costumes, lighting, and set design. It’s a quick production schedule that challenges all involved.

Female student posing near rack of costumes and sewing supplies

Jay Science and Engineering Academy sophomore Raxe Magana is playing Professor Harold Hill, the lead role, in the production. It’s his first year participating in Rising Stars after taking a theater 1 class at Jay High School his freshman year.

“It’s a huge jump going from knowing nothing about Rising Stars to landing this role. It’s insane and fantastic. I didn’t have any expectations for what character I would play,” Magana said. “I was just hoping for a memorable role.”

This is the eighth 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.

2 teachers helping female student drill a prop piece

“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. “For the first time in some students' lives, 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., and The Wizard of Oz.

Cast poses on stage after conclusion of song