Ready for showtime

Young princesses, apprentices, jesters and frogs will fill the Webster City Community Theatre’s stage this weekend after having spent only a handful of days preparing for the show.

Forty-two kids of elementary and middle school ages will perform in “Merlin’s Apprentice and the Deadly Dragon,” the final product of a weeklong workshop hosted at WCCT.

The workshop, Camp Creamery, provides young performers exposure to theatre by working with them to produce a musical under a demanding turnaround deadline- less than a week.

“It’s amazing what they learn in a week,” said Loween Getter, a board member for WCCT and one of the facilitators for Camp Creamery. “I don’t know that I could put 42 adults up there and give them four hours of training [per day for] a week and then do a performance.”

Camp Creamery, an educational program offered by The Old Creamery Theatre Company in Amana, Iowa, sends three professional actors to work with the participants throughout the duration of the workshop and play the lead roles.

“One of the biggest things that they learn is how to be confident,” said Jim Vogt, one of the actors working with the students this year. “If you can do that in front of a big crowd of people, suddenly one-on-one conversations don’t seem like that daunting of a task. It helps build up that confidence.”

The campers may also pick up other skills beyond confidence.

“They learn about theatre and following directions and respecting each other and just get exposed to theater,” Getter said.

This is Camp Creamery’s second year in Webster City. Vogt said that so far, Webster City has hosted the second biggest Camp Creamery production of the summer in terms of participation.

The workshop matched the number of participants it had last year, but it was below Camp Creamery’s cap of 60 campers, Getter said.

“The enrollment really is limited by our stage size,” Getter said. “If we were at the high school, we would be able to have more kids, but we like to use our facilities.”

Getter said Camp Creamery’s tour stop in Webster City cost $3,000 and was made possible mainly through reinvested money from last year’s ticket sales and a Hotel Motel Tax grant from the City of Webster City.

The Hotel Motel Tax grant, according to the City of Webster City’s website, is to increase tourism, enhance the quality of life for residents of the city and increase the population of the city.

“We would like to eventually be self-sustaining,” Getter said about the future of the program.

The play is an original musical put together by the Old Creamery Production Team, based out of The Old Creamery Theatre Company. The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization and is the oldest professional theater company in the state.

There will be two performances of the musical: 7 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday. Tickets will be $2, and seats are general admission.