The Morgan Musical Theater Camp worked hard for two weeks on their show “Wild, Wonderful, World of Walt Disney.” Each of their dedication showed during their two performances at Morgan High School on July 19 and 20. Parents, families and friends flocked to the auditorium to watch the actors sing and dance on stage.
The audience seemed astounded that the incredible show was pulled together in such a short time. From the youngest to the oldest, the children worked together to pull off some Disney style magic.
Some of the nearly 80 children have been working for years to perfect their talents in singing and dancing. For example, families like the Cook family are seasoned pros. Isabelle and Aspen are following in their older sister Jaycee’s dramatic footsteps working with the Morgan Musical Theater since 2010. Aspen was cast as Lumier in “Be Our Guest” and Isabelle played “Mulan” in the all-boys number “Make A Man Out Of You.” The talented girls sang, danced, and acted their way through the performance like true mavens sharing their abilities and experience. Each summer once camp begins, the Cook house is filled with the music from that year’s script. This summer Jaycee was regrettably missing from the stage as she had other commitments during the camp.
While some children have participated with the musical theater group for years, the “Wild, Wonderful, World of Walt Disney” was some actors’ and singers’ debut.
Paige Winegar has enjoyed watching others perform on stage, so when her mother Shareen Winegar heard about the drama club, she knew it would be perfect for her daughter. Shareen also has two younger sons—Dallin and Marshall—who tagged along to sign ups with no intentions of signing up themselves. During tryouts for solo singing parts, the Winegars learned the group needed more young boys to participate so Dallin and Marshall joined the group.
With no experience and little expectations, the Winegars brought big talent. Paige was cast as Jane in “Perfect Nanny” singing with Andrew Gualco as Michael. When Paige was young she loved watching a children’s television show that featured bunnies who spoke with English accents. She loved to imitate their accents and practiced speaking with the English accent. Luckily she had the accent nailed before being cast, as she had less than two weeks to learn and perform her songs.
She was not the only star of the family, however. Tyson took center stage in a somber solo from Tarzan. Making the trip each day from Mountain Green, Shareen decided to stay and watch practice instead of driving back and forth. She really enjoyed watching their progress.
By the end of each performance the audience members smiled and cheered. The first night began with excited performers who were undaunted when the microphones they were using were not turned on.
The group of narrators worked through their script with excitement and the show moved on to the first big number, “Be Our Guest.” The stage was filled with the entire cast who only hesitated for a moment when the microphones were still not working and the cues could not be heard. Aspen Cook and Meghan Lunt sang exquisitely even if it could only be heard by the first row or two.
To the relief of the cast and the audience, soon an announcement was made that the show would start over. Without direction the children quickly took their places at the beginning.
“I thought the kids did great,” Mrs. Wilder explained. The drama teacher felt the children, mostly elementary age, handled it like professional actors. She was very pleased with all of the kids from the youngest actors to the older stage crew.
“We have such a great drama club,” Wilder said. She didn’t make any calls, however she had a full stage crew each night with a larger crew the second night. She has found that when the high school students find out about a performance, they all come to volunteer.
This year’s camp has been unprecedented with 80 young actors and vocalists. This number is double to triple the numbers in years past. While Wilder had expected only around 20 children to participate, she said having too many children is the kind of problem she likes to have.
Efforts were made to get the word out. Jennifer Cook’s children received a flyer about the Musical Theater Camp at the end of school. Realizing the great opportunity for children to take part in the camp, she made copies and distributed them throughout Morgan.
Other parents worked to spread the word including Courtney Gualco, who had three children perform with the group.
The group will have one final performance at the Morgan County Fair at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3. There is not cost for this magical performance of the “Wild, Wonderful, World of Walt Disney.”