Pratt Community College Performing Arts department and children from several school districts bring a classic tale to life June 21 and 22.
Put more than 125 youngsters ages 4-11 in one place for a few hours over a two-week time and it's likely that chaos ensues. But somehow, each year, Pratt Community College Performing Arts Theater Director Misty Beck (assisted by more than 30 local volunteers) manages to pull off a miracle called Pratt Children's Music Theatre Camp and, after 10 days of intensive music, crafts, costume and staging lessons, several show-stopping performances take place in PCCs Carpenter Auditorium. This year the group will present Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland JR' at 7 p.m. on June 21 and 22.
"Sometimes the noise is of astronomical proportions," Beck said. "But it's always fun to see the kids learn the music and choreography and realize they are actually putting together a show."
Beck said the annual summer experience would not be possible without all the junior and senior assistants who participate as volunteer leaders, many of whom have been involved since 2011 when the children’s music theatre camp idea started. This year, the camp ran from 12:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. June 10-22 and included children from several area school districts, homeschool families and children in town visiting grandparents for the summer.
"You could say that this is one of the highlights of the summer for those involved," Beck said.
This weekend, the show features local talent such as Tess Clarkson playing Alice, Cory Hampton as the White Rabbit, Rafe Donnenwerth as the Mad Hatter, Hogan Thompson as March Hare and Abby Geesling as Queen of Hearts.
The story they tell is a fast-paced take on the classic "Alice in Wonderland" and it features updates songs and madcap adventures from Disney's animated motion picture.
“I am always amazed at the number of kids in Pratt and the surrounding communities who commit to this camp,” said Beck. “The arts are alive and well in South Central Kansas.”
Doors for the show at PCC open at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are sold at the door for $5. For more information about camp or the performing arts department contact Beck at MistyB@prattcc.edu.