Young Berks County performers rocked ‘Camp Rock’
The thing I love most about youth productions like Reading Civic Theatre’s “Camp Rock,” is the energy and positivity that young performers bring to the stage – and the audience. You come away feeling good about the future, knowing that it’s in good hands with this next generation.
Some of Berks County’s most gifted young performers brought “Camp Rock” to life at the Miller Center at Reading Area Community College Sept. 16-18. Even though the show has closed, these talented young people deserve recognition for bringing such quality entertainment to Berks County.
Schools from all over the county were represented: Reading, Exeter, Cocalico, Daniel Boone, Oley, Schuylkill Valley, Wyomissing, Wilson, Fleetwood, Immaculate Conception Academy and 21st Century Cyber Charter School.
This was a fun, family show with rock-solid vocals and high-energy performances,
Being based on the Disney movies of the same name, it offered positive messages for young people set in a situation that they would recognize.
It follows the kids attending Camp Rock, a music camp, who discover that a rival camp, Camp Star, has cropped up nearby. It sets up a competition for the two camps to battle it out.
Camp Rock’s stars include Mitchie, an aspiring singer/songwriter played to perfection by Jocelyn Shank, who starts off Opening Jam with a solo “This Is Me,” until she is joined Shane Gray, played by Ryan Cunningham, and it becomes a stellar duet. Shane is the lead singer for Connect 3, a trio including his two brothers, Nate (played by Daniel Behler) and Jason (played by Josh Evert.)
To add some inner rivalry, a wealthy, spoiled camper with connections, Tess Tyler, delivers “Start the Party.” Tess is played by Elizabeth Cote with just the right sass and attitude.
When the campers visit Camp Star, which is
quipped with the best of everything, Tess switches camps, along with some Camp Rock staffers.
Other key Camp Rockers include Caitlyn, Mitchie’s best friend, played by Maddie Feeman; two break dancers played by Bailey Ammons and Jordan Eck.
The camp directors are both played by adults. Stephen Stankiewicz plays Camp Rock founder, Brown Cesario and his counterpart at Camp Star and former band-mate, Axel Turner, is played by Tom Cote.
Camp Star has its own impressive numbers including “Fire” and their battle song “Tear It Down.” Key players on the Camp Star
crew are the talented, but arrogant, Luke Williams, played to perfection by Jefferson Lopez; Dana Turner, Axel’s daughter, played by Olivia Gardella with both a sweetness and spunk.
The Romeo and Juliettype love story between Dana and the shy, Nate, will ring true with many young teens.
Other Camp Rock cast members include: Karleigh Patton, Amanda Rivera, Bridget Ottinger, Grayson Hale, Chloe Marturano, Sofia Stankiewicz, Carson Landis and Justin Persicketti.
Other Camp Star kids included Carla Mannix, Daniel Schlegel, Emerson Ga-
gnon, Anna Schlegel, Taylor Clark, Jaysa Mannix and Kylie Reasor.
Many of the songs are the kind that stick with you when the show is over, including “Play My Music,” “Heart and Soul,” “What We Came Here For” and “This Is Our Song.”
The show was directed by Jeannette DeAngelo, with assistant director, Barb Yurick.
Choreography was by Angela DeAngelo; musical direction by Jarrod Miller; lighting by Jeff Cusano and set design by Larry Pisano.
For more information on Reading Civic Theatre, visit their website www.readingcivic.org
Talented young performers from all over Berks County rocked the Miller center with Disney’s “Camp Rock.”