The App puts on student-centered show

Young performers between 9 and 13 years old from Pikeville and the surrounding area rehearse songs in their show, “High School Musical 2, Jr.,” during the youth theater camp at the Appalachian Center for the Arts. The two-week-long summer camp ran from July 1 to July 13, and performances for the final show take place this weekend.

Residents of the region will get to enjoy some fun in the sun this weekend as the Appalachian Center for the Arts presents three performances of its latest show, “Disney’s High School Musical 2, Jr.”

The show, which features a cast of 31 young performers between 9 and 13 years old, marks the end to the center’s second youth theater camp this summer. The camp ran from July 1 to July 13, and the young performers had two weeks to learn the music and choreography for the show. There are also several high school students helping with technical elements in the show.

Robin Irwin, executive director at the Appalachian Center for the Arts, said this is the first year the center has held its summer theater camps, and she hopes to expand the program in the future to allow more students to work with technical elements in a show’s production, including set design, lighting, sound design and clothing design.

“It’s more about the kids having an option and having an outlet to celebrate their talent,” Irwin said.

Shannon Kirkpatrick-Daniels, stage manager for the show and production manager at the center, said the young performers are from around Pikeville, Paintsville and Prestonsburg, with one being from Virginia. During the camp, participants work on the show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for performance dates, with lunch and snack breaks. She said the participants are exposed to both the onstage and backstage elements of the show to get them familiar with them, and they learn to put on the show by themselves after learning from professionals.

“We think it’s really important for actors to learn everything,” Kirkpatrick-Daniels said. “We try to teach them a little bit of everything while they’re here. They work really hard.”

Performances of “High School Musical 2, Jr.,” will take place on Friday, July 12 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The shows will take place at the Appalachian Center for the Arts, located at 218 2nd Street. All general admission tickets cost $10. To buy tickets, call, (606)-262-4004, or visit the box office at the Appalachian Center for the Arts.

The first summer camp took place in June and was available for young performers between 5 and 8 years old. The third and final youth camp available at the center this summer will take place from July 15 to July 27 and is open to young performers between 13 and 18 years old. It costs $275 to participate in the camp, and the performers will put on a production of “Godspell, Jr.” at the end of two weeks. To learn more, go to, theapparts.org.

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