Earlier this year I decided to homeschool my 11 year old daughter, which I wrote about here on my blog. I’ve enrolled her into a charter school, where she participates in enrichment classes, and has fun with her friends.
Right before the beginning of summer, we saw that a local children’s theater was holding auditions for the play Willy Wonka Jr. This was the exact same play her former school performed just months earlier. What a perfect opportunity for my daughter! I love this play, and I knew that she’d want to be involved. The problem was that she had already signed up for 2 different summer camps, and adding a rigorous practice schedule was not high on my list of things I was dying to do for the summer.
However, being the awesome (somewhat debatable at times) mom that I am, I told her about the auditions and we made the plans for her to try out. We searched for the perfect song to sing, and when I say “we” I really mean “she.” I purchased the sheet music for the song, and she practiced and practiced. When we got to the auditions, I realized that perhaps her choice of music was a little off, but I was still hopeful she’d get a main part. While everyone else was singing Disney songs, or Julie Andrews favorites, my daughter decided to sing “Run To You” by Whitney Houston, but the Pentatonix version. She likes to think outside the box. Anyway, she did well enough to get a call back to audition for Mrs. Gloop. Sadly, she did not get that role.
Instead she is an Oompa Loompa. Now, if you know anything about Willy Wonka, I’d say that the Oompa Loompas make the story. They can dance, carry a tune, teach a lesson and they pretty much keep Willy Wonka from murdering those kids. Let’s be honest, you know Violet would have burst if it weren’t for the Oompa Loompas squeezing the juice out of her. Having said that, now who wouldn’t want to be an Oompa Loompa? Seriously, I’d love to be an Oompa Loompa.
I’m guessing by now you’re wondering why in the world I’m going on and on about some play my daughter is in. Well, I think being in this play has served my daughter well. She has confidence. She is part of a bigger project, which has given her something to look forward to. She’s had to be dedicated and take her job seriously. She is proud of all of her hard work. For this I am thankful. To the people of Children’s Musical Theaterworks, I am also thankful, as this is the company putting on Willy Wonka Jr.
Children’s Musical Theaterworks (CMT) started in 1996. CMT is the only non-profit children’s performing theater in the valley. The idea behind CMT is that they provide a safe and fun environment for children to learn how the theater works. Every child is accepted into the program, and the fees taken go right back into the company. CMT runs largely on parent help and a one time fundraiser. The children are taught, through first hand experience, how a play is put on. They practice and practice, and see what goes into a performance. It’s an education given by not just showing, but by doing. They also have teens as junior staff helpers. This company does not just focus on one small age group. No, it encomapsses a large age range. The cast for Willy Wonka Jr ranges in ages from 6-12. The Little Mermaid Jr cast ranges in ages 13-18. And, there is a audition for Annie coming up in September, that ranges from ages 10-20. CMT is not just for little kids.
I truly feel that this whole experience has been so positive for my daughter, that I want to share it with you all. This organization is here, in Fresno, helping our youth to be part of something bigger. So, if you’d like to support an organization like this, go check out a performance of Willy Wonka Jr this weekend, or next. If Willy Wonka freaks you out, like he does some of my friends, then go see The Little Mermaid Jr August 8th-17th. Or, if you have a child between the ages of 10-20, maybe they’d like to try out for Annie. Maybe you’re a great seamstress and can make costumes. Perhaps you know how to build sets (not just with Legos). Your talents could be used too!
I say support this awesome organization any way you can. With a gem like this in Fresno, we need to hold on to it. 🙂