Local church brings drama to summer

RANCHO SANTA FE — More than 130 aspiring thespians representing 30 churches and schools from throughout the county gathered for the annual summer music and drama camp at Village Community Presbyterian Church.
The weeklong event began with daily devotions at 9 a.m., followed by vocal warm-ups. Participants then split into two groups based on age and continued until 4:30 p.m. with rehearsals, choreography and workshops.
The camp culminated with two performances Aug. 7. Tom Long, founder of the Ohio-based Friends of the Groom Christian theater group, directed 28 youngsters in grades seven through 12 in “Once Upon a Parable,” which he co-wrote with Allen Pote. The younger group performed “One More Chance: The Story of Jonah.”
Despite the long days, 13-year-old Coronado residents Katy Gauvin and Torrey Henry said the camp was “really fun.” They especially liked blocking each scene and choreographing the dances.
Kyle Fait, a 12-year-old from Scripps Ranch who was appearing in his fourth production with the group, said he liked the funny lines in “Once Upon a Parable,” although memorizing them was hard. For Katy, the most difficult part was singing opera during the vocal workshops. “Those songs are tough,” she said.
Nearly everyone agreed with Long that without a doubt, the most difficult challenge was putting the show together from start to finish in five days. “But the kids are doing very well,” Long said. “And it’s a lot of fun.”
For the technical director, Rancho Santa Fe resident MJ Harris, the week leading up to the performance was actually pretty easy. “My big challenge is on production day,” he said.

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