Posted by: Tony Brown | November 1, 2010

Road Show Plays Showcase Talent of Youth

One night, four hours, 20 performances by ten youth groups at two locations. You think this sounds like an undertaking for the brave to take on? You’re absolutely correct. This was the challenge that the youth groups from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Albany and Lebanon area had to face in performing a road show on Oct. 23.

A road show is a fifteen minute performance that has movable backgrounds, props and must be performed in two or more locations. These shows are written, produced and directed by local youth and their leaders and performed by kids from 12 to 18 years of age. Each performance has a theme that is moral based and each group chooses their own theme without the knowledge of the other groups.

“Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices”. This is quoted from the pamphlet, “For the Strength of the Youth” written by The First Presidency of the LDS church.

The LDS church has activities and functions for the youth members which give the youth a chance to grow their talents and to share them with the community. Each year the church has a major function for the youth. This year’s function was the road show.

You might think that with 10 groups, someone might choose the same theme or story but that wasn’t the case. Each group created their own costumes and backgrounds and scripts. Each performance shared a message that was uplifting, funny and thought provoking. The performances were judged for creativity, showmanship and how their story played out.

The Springhill youth group performs during the dress rehearsal.

 The opening act was based on a theme the Cookie Monster eating too many cookies and needing to add more fruits and vegetables in his diet. The act included music from the 80’s and choreographed dancing. The children in the audience gave loud cheers and laughter when Elmo, Big Bird, The Count and Oscar the Grouch came on stage.

A cast party was held on Nov. 10 in Lebanon where all the youth and leaders gathered to watch a video of all the acts and to receive their awards. The grand prize winners are the Springhill youth. Their act was titled “Hercules and the Quest” which was loosely based sketches from Monty Pythons “The Holy Grail” and Greek mythology. A boy named Hercules was mistaken for the demigod and sent on a quest to take a package to the king. His journey was met with danger and adventure while avoiding the town bully and his group of minions. The story was well put together and the climatic ending was entertaining and surprising.

Other acts portrayed characters from nursery rhythms like “Little Bo Peep” and popular musicals such as “The Wizard of Oz”.

“Everyone did a remarkable job and all the kids performed great considering some had little help and had to over come a lot of obstacles”, stated Diane Allen who was one of the coordinators of the road show. Allen also had children performing in the Springhill group and she did a lot of behind the scene work for them.

The groups have a warm up act called an oleo that gives them just a few minutes to set there stage and prepare for their act. The act opens, the curtain is drawn and the timer starts. Fifteen minutes and the act is over, the curtain closes and the stage is broke down and moved off so that the next group can set the stage for their act. One set of performances in LDS church Albany on Grand Prairie and Waverly and the other set of performances where at the LDS church in Lebanon on South 5th st.

“Our performance was much better in Lebanon then Albany”, stated Beth Young, one of the creative team of the Sweet Home group.

There is a short break between acts which gives the actors a chance to watch some of the other acts before a one-hour dinner break and travel time to the next location. Then the process starts over again.

These kids and leaders put on a fantastic show for the audience and judges and their parents have a lot to proud of. It just goes to show that hard work and lots of practice really pays off.

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