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‘Beatrix Potter’ to revive musicals in Odess Theater

BeatrixPotterThe newly-remodeled Odess Theater is going to stage its first musical in decades this fall.

The Sitka Fine Arts Camp has launched a new program called the “Young Performer’s Theater.” Auditions will be held tomorrow (Sat 9-21-13) for the company’s first show: “The Adventures of Beatrix Potter and Her Friends.”

Elsbeth Poe is the director of the company and the show. She says there’s a lot more to it than a well-known big-band number performed by Peter Rabbit.

“Jemima Puddleduck is another popular one. Jeremy Fisher. We’re doing the Two Bad Mice, and also the Tailor of Gloucester.”

Poe will cast between 12 and 50 actors. Performers between the ages of 7 and 18 are eligible to try out. Find complete audition information here.

Poe herself comes from a theater family. She’s a graduate of the Southern Oregon University theater program in Ashland.

She says there are rewards to being in theater that many don’t realize.

“It’s a wonderful community-building exercise for our youth, because you are a family. You become this group. You have to put on a production together. Every single member of that team is important.”

Sitka Fine Arts Camp director Roger Schmidt says he’s been thinking about an after-school theater program for a long time — maybe since childhood, when he watched shows on the old Allen Hall stage at Sheldon Jackson.

“Jan Craddick and her daughter, Elaine, did theater there for years and years, and kept this spirit of theater going. So it’s definitely in the back of my mind: I remember as a kid seeing their productions, and having friends who were part of their productions, and the idea of Allen being a place of theater. So anything our organization can do to re-spirit the space with theater is important to me.”

KCAW’s Peter Apathy contributed to this story.

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