What better way to introduce youngsters to theater than through watching their peers perform in professionally directed productions, particularly when admission is a steal.
Which is exactly the opportunity provided by Seattle Children's Theatre Education Programs when it presents more than 140 performers from the fourth through 12th grades in nine shows. Several young- sters from Magnolia and Queen Anne are among the performers in Summer Season 2003, which runs from Thursday, July 24, to Saturday, Aug. 23.
The students from Queen Anne and Magnolia are: Michael Baker, 12th grade, Young Actor Institute Showcase
Sydney Beary, seventh grade, "First Day: A Middle School Nightmare"
Ellen Fitzharris, ninth grade, "Gulliver's Travels I"
Jeff Grimm, seventh grade, "Pippin"
Evan Jayne, fifth grade, "Gulliver's Travels II"
Rachel Murray, 10th grade, "First Day: A Middle School Nightmare"
Chelsea Taylor, seventh grade, "First Day: A Middle School Nightmare"
Joe Terrenzio, 12th grade, "Much Ado About Nothing"
Jordan Wakefield, 11th grade, "Much Ado About Nothing"
Lauren White, 10th grade, "West Side Story"
Misty Young, 12th grade, "Once Upon a Life"
Out of 244 students who auditioned, 145 were accepted. After an intensive rehearsal period, students were given the chance to perform with the accoutrements of professional theater, including props, costumes, sets, sound and lights created by Seattle Children's Theatre's production staff. The shows also give the students the opportunity to perform before an audience.
The Seattle Children's Theatre Drama School offers year-round theater arts programs for a variety of age groups and experience levels, with the aim of helping students develop skills and broaden their horizons. The Deaf Youth Drama Program offers ongoing classes for deaf and hard-of-hearing students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, semiannual deaf theater festivals and a summer conservatory theater that culminates in an original production.
Summer Season 2003
July 24 and 25 at 7 p.m.; July 26 at 1 p.m.: In "Once Upon a Life," a team of actors presents one person's entire life in 40 minutes of improvisation. July 24 and 25 at 8 p.m.; July 26 at 1 p.m.: The musical "Pippin" is the story of the eldest son of an emperor as he searches the paths of war, love and politics for fulfillment.
July 31, Aug. 1 and 2 at 7 p.m.: The original comedy "First Day:
A Middle School Nightmare," written by Seattleite Todd Jeffer-son Moore, combines the trauma of the first day of middle school with Dante's "Inferno."
July 31, Aug. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m.: C.S. Lewis' "The Silver Chair" is a world-premiere adaptation by Don Fleming, producer of Sum-mer Season 2003, of the sixth book of Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia.
Aug. 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m.: "Much Ado About Nothing" is Shake-speare's light-hearted comedy about Benedick and Beatrice - adversaries who come to believe that each is trying to woo the other.
Aug. 7, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.: "The Oresteia" is a Greek drama by Aeschylus.
Aug. 8 and 15 at 7 p.m.; Aug. 9 and 16 at 5:30 p.m.: "West Side Story," the 1961 musical about the rivalry between gangs in 1950s New York City, will be presented by the Seattle Children's Theatre Deaf Youth Drama Program in American Sign Language (interpreted for all audiences) and performed by deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing youth.
Aug. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m.: The Young Actor Institute Showcase features Seattle Children's Theatre's most advanced drama students showcasing their work in acting, musical theater and stage combat.
Aug. 21, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m.; Aug. 22 at 1 p.m.: "Gulliver's Travels I: Lilliput" is also an adaptation by Fleming of a portion of Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel describing the journeys of Lemuel Gulliver to fantastic lands.
Aug. 21, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.: "Gulliver's Travels II: Brobding-nag, Laputa and Houyhnhnmia" is an adaptation by Fleming of another portion of Jonathan Swift's novel describing the journeys of Lemuel Gulliver to fantastic lands.
Tickets for the shows range in price from $5-$11. Season subscriptions are available for $36. The Young Actor Institute Showcase is free to the public. To purchase tickets, call 441-3322 or go online to www.sct.org. To obtain more information on the theater's youth programs, call 443-0807 or go online to www.sct.org. Seattle Children's Theatre is located at 201 Thomas St. in the Seattle Center.