The Column: Songs, students fill Theatre Victoria

June 19, 2013 at 1:19 a.m.

Theatre, music and dance. Each of these are incredibly special on their own and then something surprisingly magical happens when these three elements are put together.

As the executive director for Theatre Victoria, I have the amazing opportunity this summer to experience this in two separate yet very thrilling events - our Triple Threat Theatre Summer Camp and "Disney's Beauty and the Beast."

For two weeks in June, I get to watch and hear more than 100 young performers ages 4 to 18 sing, dance and act as they learn songs, practice dance steps and read scripts during the two camps. Their voices, muscles and brains are being stretched and awakened as they acquire new skills and hone their talents.

The history of the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts is being enriched with new stories as these students build lasting memories while reinforcing their confidence, talents and social skills. It's remarkable to be surrounded by such joy, laughter and a full range of emotions on a daily basis - and this is just from the teachers.

One can only imagine what the kids are experiencing.

In the evenings, I join a cast of 35, three stage managers, a sound designer, a music director and a choreographer as we rehearse to create a new production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," launching our 37th season.

And like our younger counterparts, we are all stretching our muscles by singing these familiar songs from the show and learning lines and big dance numbers.

The talent we have in our community is astounding - both on stage and behind the scenes with our creative and production teams.

We are transforming the stage at the Welder Center into the magic of Disney with a monstrous set from New York and gorgeous costumes from a company in Florida. We are bringing our community an experience of a lifetime - something not to be missed.

I get chills multiple times during the rehearsal process as we develop the songs, dances and scenes - bringing life to a beautiful story that many have only experienced through film.

And that's what we do. Each and every one of us brings aspects of our lives and experiences to a story. Theatre Victoria and our volunteers cultivate the opportunity, the resources and the talent to change lives - yours, mine and ours.

A couple of times a month, I will share our experiences with you. My goals are to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of the laughter, the joy, the dedication and the passion of what is Theatre Victoria to show why engagement in the arts is important to our quality of life, to understand that the arts contribute to what makes our community a great place to visit and live and to grasp why we sometimes seem a little bit nuts.

Experience for yourself the talents of our youth at our T3 Headliners Showcase on Saturday at 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Theatre Victoria presents the students of our Triple Threat Theatre Summer Headliners Camp as they star in "Bugsy Malone Jr.," "A Year with Frog and Toad, Kids" and "Annie, Kids."

Reserved seating is $8 per ticket and can be purchased online at, at the Welder Center Box Office at 214 N Main St. or by calling 361-570-TKTS (8587).

And don't forget about "Disney's Beauty and the Beast." I invite you to begin - and end - your summer with us in historic downtown Victoria. Tickets are moving fast.

Scott Mohon is the executive director of Theatre Victoria. Contact him at 361-576-6277.



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