SMTC Announces 23rd Summer Season

The Summer Musical TheatreCamp for Kids and Teens begins its 23rd summer season with the contemporary Broadway musical hit Ragtime as the mainstage show for the high school division of this educational program.  The high school camp begins Monday, June 5 and runs four consecutive weeks ending with the production of Ragtime on June 30, July 1, and 2.

The second session of SMTC begins with programs for kids ages 5 through 11, and a second session of middle school and high school aged kids.  The kids show this summer is a production of The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White and the teen crossover group performing the musical Bye Bye Birdie.  These camps begin on Monday, July 3 and continue four consecutive weeks with performances of both shows on the weekend of July 29 through July 31.

All performances take place at the beautiful Lewis Auditorium on the campus of Flagler College.  Mike Beaman serves as Artistic Director for the summer program. Long-time staff member, Joe Kemper, returns to the summer program as a production director. Nikki Falcao returns as a production scenic artist.  Carl Liberatore is Technical Director.  Curtis Powell works as Administrator and Music Director for the program.

Ragtime, the musical, has a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. Ragtime is based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, and tells the story of three groups in the United States in the early 20th century: African-Americans, upper-class suburbanites and Eastern European immigrants. Historical figures including Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, and Emma Goldman are represented in the stories.

The musical had its world premiere in Toronto on December 8, 1996. The US Premier was in Los Angeles in 1997 and ran one year before opening on Broadway on January 18, 1998 as the first production in the newly opened Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Frank Galati and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, Ragtime ran for two years, closing on January 16, 2000, after 834 performances and 27 previews. The original cast included Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, Peter Friedman and Audra McDonald, who were all nominated for Tony Awards, and also included Judy Kaye, Mark Jacoby and Lea Michele.

The middle school / high school crossover camp cast will present the musical Bye Bye Birdie. This popular stage musical has a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.

Originally titled Let's Go Steady, Bye Bye Birdie is set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley  and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The rock star character's name, "Conrad Birdie", is word play on the name of Conway Twitty.  Twitty is best remembered today for his long career as a country music star, but in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley's rock 'n' roll rivals.

The original 1960–1961 Broadway production was a Tony Award–winning success. It spawned a London production and several major revivals, a sequel, a 1963 film, and a 1995 television production. The show also became a popular choice for high school and college productions.

The kids division, for ages 5 to 11, will present the musical The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White.  
The tale of Snow White has never felt so fresh with this funny adaptation that will make even the most jaded among us laugh out loud!  New characters and comedic twists come to life as a modern mom reads the Brothers Grimm tale to her restless children.  In addition to the well-known cast of the kind princess, evil queen, multiple dwarves and the morally conflicted Huntsman, this musical introduces us to some fresh new faces such as rhyme-happy ladies-in-waiting and a stick-in-the-mud governmental representative out to ruin everyone’s good time!

Musical styles of all genres fuse to create a rousing mixture of hip-hop, rock and roll, doo wop, and its tongue-in-cheek humor.

The Summer Musical TheatreCamp, now in its 23rd season, has excelled in its goal of giving students a taste of musical theater by instructing in all aspects of a musical theater production:  acting, music and dance.  The camp culminates in the creation and performance of complete staged musical theater and theatrical productions before a live audience.

The Summer Musical TheaterCamp is widely known as the leading training ground for young actors. Since its inception in 1995, with 30 kids ages 5 to 14, the educational program has produced 34 musical theater shows with over 1400 kids and teens in participation.  For the past fourteen years the SMTC for teens has produced full-scale Broadway musicals on its stage.  Additionally, for an eighth year, the middle school/high school group will present its own full-scale musical in an effort to give these younger actors the skills and opportunities to be on stage in leading rolls.  The actors have come not only from St. Augustine and throughout the state, but from across the USA including New Jersey, California, Ohio, Wisconsin; and even England and Malaysia.  Many kids and teens have spent up to thirteen years in the program with several now working as professional actors throughout the county.  This summer over 150 kids ranging from age 5 to 18 will take part in the 2017 summer season.

For a brochure and/or additional information contact Curtis Powell and the Summer Musical TheatreCamp at (904) 501-7396 or the visit the website at summermusicaltheatrecamp.com.