Rising Stars theater students present Shrek the Musical, Jr.

The Rising Stars Theatre Camp is presenting Shrek the Musical, Jr. in a free public performance on Thursday, June 27 at 2 p.m. in the Holmes High School auditorium, 6500 Ingram Road.

Seventy five students from nine middle and high schools have been attending the day-long theatre camp for the past three 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, Rudder, and Zachry middle schools.

Rising Communications Arts High School freshman Paulina Csitkovits is attending her second Rising Stars Camp, on the recommendation of her middle school theater teacher, and is playing the role of Princess Fiona.

“I’m shy in real life at first but not in theatre which brings me out of my comfort zone,” Csitkovits 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 40 students will take on performing roles this year, with another 32 backstage supporting the show with props, costumes, lighting, and set design. It’s a quick production schedule that challenges all involved.

Holmes High School junior Piper Swafford is part of the backstage crew and helps with costumes.

“It’s a different experience than doing regular high school productions,” Swafford said. “Instead of attending classes, you spend the entire day working on the show. Every year it’s completely new – a new show, new directors, and new opportunities.”

This is the ninth 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 three 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. “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., The Wizard of Oz, and The Music Man, Jr.

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