‘River Theatre’ taking new direction this summer

Dave Ogilvie

This summer’s “River Theatre” production, under the direction of Renée Martin-Brown, will be a totally new venture for the annual musical theatre program.
For the past eight years, Martin-Brown and her students have concentrated on presenting theme-related musicals designed specifically for classroom teachers.
This year, however, she has purchased the rights to “High School Musical.” And as a result, the summer program will be a two-week session beginning July 5 and ending July 16.
This well-known musical theatre program, for boys and girls aged eight-14, will take place at the Emo Legion on Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The cost will be $300 per student ($550 for siblings), with the registration deadline being June 15.
“I’m really excited about this year’s production,” Martin-Brown enthused. “It will give us a chance to work with sets, props, and costumes.”
She presently is waiting for scripts to arrive and plans to choose between two versions, one of which is designed for middle school-aged students.
“I would really like to encourage the boys to join,” Martin-Brown said. “We need a least five boys who will be the basketball team in the story.”
Martin-Brown has a degree in music, has been the musical director of the Emo Centennial Choir for many years, is a professional piano and vocal instructor, and also sings professionally.
Although a major component of the annual program has been the development of musical skills, as well as the development of theatrical skills such as dramatic techniques, characterization, and improvisation, Martin-Brown also will concentrate on the vocal improvement of each student.
And she hopes to recruit a talented assistant who will emphasize the development of the elementary aspects of dance and choreography.
This two-week musical theatre program is an excellent opportunity for students to develop their confidence, creativity, teamwork, and leadership.
Under the direction of Martin-Brown, her students have created some truly remarkable productions over the last several years.
This year’s summer program promises to be even better.
The program sessions will culminate in a final presentation for parents and friends on Friday, July 16 (time and location to be announced).
Parents who may find it difficult to transport their young musicians to and from Emo for the two-week period will be given a newsletter with the names and phone numbers of all the students participating in the program.
In the past, this has helped create a car-pooling system, which has made it much easier for everyone to participate.
Registration is limited.
For more info or to register, contact Martin-Brown at 482-3055 or r.martin.brown@sympatico.ca