By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — All the world’s a stage, and this weekend it belongs to local area youth.
On Saturday and Sunday this weekend, HOPO Productions will present “The Snow White Variety Show”, written by Brian D. Taylor, and directed by Stephanie Hoerth. The show will pay homage to multiple TV genres, as the scene is set when Snow White’s seven dwarfs appear on a talk show to recount the fairy-tale of Snow White.
“Each dwarf has a very specific genre — there’s ‘western’, ‘shakespeare’, ‘soap opera’ — and each dwarf as they’re telling it is being re-enacted by the players, and the players have to act it out in that genre,” said Hoerth. “It’s very fast-paced, but almost has an improv feel to it.”
Ages of actors in the show range from 6-18 years, and will include 51 local area youths. Some of these talents have been involved in local theatre from as early as 10-years-old; one of whom is 17-year-old Sam Galuk, who plays the role of ‘The Huntsman’.
“It’s so funny to see how everyone on the panel gets to take on their personality throughout the play,” said Galuk. “Personally, my favorite part is the fight scene we do — it’s hilarious.”
Many that will share the stage this weekend have been in the youth theatre community for sometime, and like Galuk, many plan to stay involved in community theatre.
“I know I’m going to be doing it, just because of how much fun it is.” said Galuk.
One experienced bright-eyed youth has been doing theatre since she was eight, as now 12-year-old Katie Panzer plays the well-known Red Riding Hood. Panzer loves to be on stage, when asked what she loved the most about doing theatre, and her role in the show, the answer was simple.
However, with any production comes challenges, and regardless of age, this is a constant in the theatre world. With how fast lines and have to be learned and actions tweaked in the week leading up to the show, the biggest challenges come in forms of speed and references.
“The biggest thing is to keep up the pace,” said Hoerth. “This is really actor-driven, and I really want the audience to get the references. One of the bigger challenges is a lot of references that the kids don’t know. For example, there’s a ‘Godfather’ reference, and a ‘Wizard of Oz’ reference — some old school references that maybe only parents will get.”
In the end, the goal for the production is that of a good time, as the director made it quite clear what the audience will get out of this summer’s youth production.
“To laugh a lot,” said Hoerth. “I want them to sit back, take two hours out of their night, and watch talented kids put on a show they literally put together in a week.”
This family-friendly show runs Saturday, August 5 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the WRCT auditorium in the Centralia Center of the Rapids Mall. Tickets are $8 each and are available by calling the WRCT office at 715-421-0435, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the door prior to the show.