Encore!, a teen theater group in Union County, will perform Legally Blonde the Musical this weekend at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 233 W. Sixth St. in Marysville
The group is made up of 36 cast members. Co-producer Pam Klaus said others are helping with lights and sound as well as painting and constructing sets.
“In total, there are roughly 45 young adults that are involved in the production. In our six years, we have never turned anyone away who wanted to be part of the show,” Klaus said.
Auditions were held in May and rehearsals started June 3. The group had about six weeks to get the show ready.
“The kids rehearse three days a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until the week prior to opening night,” Klaus said. “That week, they rehearse every night.”
Ashley Garrett Schwyn and Rhonda Hill are directors and choreographers. Eric Hill is the vocal director, and Mick Giere is the music director.
Karen Rogers is coordinating costumes and sets. The stage manager is Patrick Newsome, and the technical manager is Isaac Luther. Klaus shares producing duties with Lois Everitt.
Encore! was founded in 2008 and has put on several summer musicals, including Crazy for You, Footloose, Grease and Guys and Dolls. A group of local residents established Encore! to give Union County teenagers a place to grow and share their talent and to offer opportunities for internship, mentorship, leadership and community service.
Participants range in age from incoming ninth-graders to 20. Each pays a $50 fee and gets a T-shirt.
“This year, cast members had the option of paying their pay-to-play fee by securing two $25 sponsorships,” Klaus said.
Klaus said the group primarily relies on sponsorships and ticket sales for funding.
“This year, the business community has been very generous to Encore! and for that we are most grateful,” she said. “Since our show this year is Legally Blonde, we focused on law firms and beauty salons and brought in a few new sponsors.”
Proceeds from ticket sales fund the entire production, including promotional materials, costumes, sets and stipends for the orchestra.
“We have been very fortunate the past several years to have been able to set aside the funds necessary to purchase rights for the following year, as we must purchase the rights and rent the rehearsal materials before we even cast the show or begin to sell tickets,” Klaus said.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, July 20. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encore! has a fund at the Union County Foundation for anyone wishing to donate to the program. Checks should be made out to “Union County Foundation” with Encore! on the memo line and sent to the Union County Foundation, P.O. Box 608, Marysville, Ohio 43040.