On with the show

Camp Creamery gives youngsters a taste of theater

— Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Anne Blankenship Camp Creamery participants rehearse a musical number in “Little Red and the Wolves.” The camp, presented by the Old Creamery Theatre, sponsored by Webster City Community Theatre is going on this week. Performances are scheduled for Friday night and Saturday.

Forty-three youngsters – ages 7 through 8th grade –have had a busy week learning songs, memorizing lines and rehearsing dance routines, all part of the fun at Camp Creamery, presented by the Old Creamery Theatre and hosted by Webster City Community Theatre.

The camp, a tradition at WCCT over the past several years, brings in three professional actors to lead the week-long theatre session.

James Tarrant, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is marking his third time working in Iowa with Old Creamery Theatre. He was in Webster City three years ago to work with the camp. He’ll be working a while longer at the Old Creamery once camp sessions wrap up. Next up is The Addams Family Musical, with Tarrant as Uncle Fester.

Allie Valentine is in her first year with Old Creamery Theatre. She’s a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. During the winter season, she’ll perform in “Church Basement Ladies,” and the “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” at Old Creamery.

Maggie Austin, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., is also working with Camp Creamery for the first time this summer. She’s also in the cast of “The Addams Family” this fall.

The Webster City camp marks the seventh and next to last stop this summer for the trio of actors.

“We’ve been doing this for almost two months now,” Tarrant said. He said the three spent a week learning the show and then headed out to work with children across the state.

This year’s show is entitled “Little Red Meets the Wolves, “ a spinoff of the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story, according to Austin.

The actors work four-hours each day with the children. The week started off on Monday with auditions and getting to know the children.

“We have them stand in a circle, say their name and age loud and proud,” said Valentine. “This gives us an idea of who is comfortable speaking in front of a group.”

Some of the short lines are distributed among the younger children and older children are given an opportunity to try out the longer lines to see who will be able to handle the memorization.

On Tuesday, the campers learn about 90 percent of the show – basically all of the songs, Valentine said. The following day, they work on whatever is left to learn. The campers have a chance to watch their friends perform songs.

Thursday brings a full run-through of the musical. Friday, there are more run-throughs and costume rehearsals.

The week culminates with two performances of the production — Friday night at 7 p.m., and Saturday morning at 11. WCCT officials said that a few tickets may still be available. Anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to call the box office to check on seat availability.

The three actors said they plan to do a little sightseeing around Webster City. Tarrant, who visited Webster City three years ago, wants to show his co-workers some points of interest, including the Kendall Young Library.

“Your town is so beautiful,” he said. “We’re going to do some exploring over the next few days. Everyone is just so friendly and welcoming.”