Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe staging ‘Shrek Jr. the Musical’ this weekend | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe staging ‘Shrek Jr. the Musical’ this weekend

Devenney Leijon
Special to the Tribune

The Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe stages “Suessical.”

It is an early Saturday morning and 63 local youth, grades three through twelve, from Truckee to Kings Beach to Incline Village, are heading to the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe (BGCNLT).

They are preparing to start the first of five "tech" rehearsals that will culminate in three performances of Great Futures Productions, “Shrek Jr. the Musical.” For many of the youth, this five-hour Saturday tech rehearsal is not their first, most have participated in some of the many other musicals that Great Futures Productions has put on over the years, including "Annie," "The Little Mermaid," "James and The Giant Peach," and "Suessical," to name a few.

For others, this is their first Great Futures Productions musical. Regardless, all have worked toward a common goal over the last three months, putting on a fabulous show for the community and their peers.

The process for a large-scale musical at BGCNLT starts months before the curtain goes up on opening night. The club's performing arts coordinator and Great Futures Productions director, Sara Turner-Carbajal, holds auditions for each show.

Every youth who shows up for the audition is made to feel comfortable and expectations are clearly outlined. By helping each child understand all aspects of performing, each performer achieves a well-rounded understanding from the very beginning.

An observer in the audition room will notice that each child is rooting for the others in the room and anything other than encouragement seems to have been checked at the door.

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Once roles are cast for a Great Futures Productions show, the kids get to work. Turner-Carbajal immediately begins breaking down the often difficult vocals for each and every song in the show and the children are taught to harmonize and hone the skill.

Once vocals become second nature, choreography and lines are added into the mix. To say that the Great Futures Productions casts are triple threats, meaning that each child is able to sing, dance and act, is an understatement.

Any newcomers need not worry if they haven't danced or acted on the stage before because Turner-Carbajal works not only group rehearsals into the schedule, but extensive individual rehearsals as well. There is no shortage of ways for the entire cast to feel completely prepared come show time.

As show time draws closer, the cast begins to take the performance to another level by adding in all technical elements to the show. In the world of theater, a show must go on no matter the circumstance. The casts of the Great Futures Productions shows commit to understudying for other roles in the show, ensuring that at least one person can step into all the other roles at a moment's notice in case a performer cannot make it to a rehearsal or take the stage on show days.

The six days leading up to the performances, called Tech Week, are set aside to work out these and any other issues. During this crucial week, the cast doesn't blink an eye as costumes, props, set changes, lighting, sound (in the form of microphone boxes attached to lead actors in the show), makeup, wigs and many more variables are finally thrown into the mix.

However, a week of taking these things into consideration and hours of practice allows for any last-minute adjustments to be made prior to the audience stepping through the building doors for the performances.

So, as the cast of "Shrek Jr. The Musical" prepares to complete the months of hard work and take the stage on Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, don't miss the chance to witness 63 triple threats in action and see a fabulous show filled with singing, dancing and a hilarious storyline. Come support local youth and see "Shrek Jr. The Musical" this weekend!

Devenney Leijon is the marketing and special events coordinator for Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe.

 ‘Shrek Jr. The Musical’

When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 27 (SOLD OUT), and 2 & 7 p.m. Saturday, April 28

Where: BGCNLT Kings Beach site, 8125 Steelhead Ave.

Tickets: Available at EventBrite.com $15 for adults, $10 children