News Column

Teen acting skills meet up with 'Hillbilly' sentiments

July 9, 2013


July 09--DUNCAN -- The acting chops of some Stephens County teens could be worth the weight in oil.

Duncan Little Theatre's Teen Theatre began Monday in the Simmons Center Theatre. This month, the youths are pulling together a production of "The Beverly Hillbillies," based on the 1962 TV show of the same name. They will perform the play for an audience at 2 p.m. July 27 in the Simmons Center Theatre.

The play revolves around the Clampett family, who struck oil on their property and their decision to move to Beverly Hills. The humor is played on the fish-out-of-water take, as the family moves to the city. As with any change, there is an adjustment for the family.

Director BethAnn Hough and her assistant Jeremy Eoff worked to introduce the high school and middle school students to the characters. The show went of the air in 1971, which was more than 30 years before any of the teens were born.

"I'm ready for the play," Maverick Williams, who is a third-time participant in Teen Theatre, said.

Many of the participants involved in this year's Teen Theatre workshop have done Teen Theatre previously. But at least 10 participants are first-timers, Hough said.

The workshop teaches youths about putting together a production, both behind the scenes and in front of the audience. The teens will be hands on through every aspect of the play, from learning lines to creating sets.

Williams said the workshop has given him a chance to grow in his theater talents, while giving him an enjoyable experience with friends.

"I've loved it every year," he said. "I get to be myself. Nobody cares how I act."

To introduce this year's teens to the characters, the workshop showed clips from the TV show. The youths also read through the script, taking turns to read parts. The script was influenced by the pilot episode of the show.

Teen Theatre has been a long-standing tradition with some of the teens, who have been active in theater outside of the workshop. Some, including Brady Henricks and Mikayla Amaya, have participated in other Duncan Little Theatre productions.

Some of Teen Theatre's past productions have included "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and "Shakespeare Comes to Gravel Gulch."

Although the workshop has begun, teens interested in the program can still sign-up to participate. There is a cost associated with the three-week workshop.

Teen Theatre participants meet from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday until the performance July 27.


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