Presley tunes inspire Encore! production
Encore! Union County, a teen theater group, will shake things up this coming weekend with a presentation of All Shook Up, inspired by and featuring the music of Elvis Presley.
Show times are 7 p.m. July 19 and 20 and 3 p.m. July 21 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 233 W. Sixth St.
Producer Pam Klaus said auditions were held in May and rehearsals started as soon as school let out on June 3. The group usually practices three nights a week but will rehearse every night this week.
Encore! directors and producers met in February to start kicking around show ideas, she said.
"Several show perusals are ordered, and a decision is made sometime in April. We like to alternate between classical musicals and more modern shows," Klaus said.
"This year, we decided on All Shook Up because it's a modern show full of great music, has several lead roles, lots of dancing and it is really funny."
The show is not about Elvis Presley but the story is based on his songs, she said.
The yearly productions are funded primarily through sponsorships, according to Klaus.
"Encore! has a fund at the Union County Foundation where local businesses can donate," she said.
Ticket sales and a pay-to-participate fee of $35 per cast member make up the rest of the funding.
"At the end of a show, I'm happy when we can pay our bills and hopefully have a little left in the bank to purchase the rights for the following year's show," Klaus said.
Encore! is celebrating its fifth year. Klaus has been with the program since the beginning and says she stays involved for many reasons.
"The kids are so talented in this community and Encore! gives them a venue to further develop and showcase their talents," she said. "I love the idea that Encore! is keeping our kids busy three nights a week, spending time with their friends, singing and dancing."
Cast members range in age from high school freshmen through age 20.
"It was designed to offer the cast and crew opportunities for mentorship, leadership and community service while reinforcing the importance of teamwork, dedication and responsibility," Klaus said.
All Shook Up is co-directed and choreographed by Ashley Garrett and Rhonda Hill. Vocal director is Eric Hill and the orchestra is led by Matt Nelson.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. For additional information or to reserve tickets, email email@example.com
The Summer Theater Workshop that feeds into the Encore! program will wrap up its summer show this weekend with The Sound of Music. The Summer Theater Workshop is for Union County students entering fifth through eighth grades and is a completely student-led organization.
High school students, who are typically alumni of the group, return as directors to volunteer their time to help put the show together. Students design and build sets, work the lights and sound, cast, choreograph, block and coordinate all production responsibilities.
Lisa Rose and Lois Everitt serve as parent chaperones and advisers.
The final performance of The Sound of Music will be presented at 3 p.m. today, July 14, at Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Admission is free.