Apple Tree Productions presents four exciting productions this summer, including an adult rendition of the musical Hairspray in July and youth performances of Aida in August. The company prides itself on providing students of all ages with quality afterschool and summertime instruction in drama. During the summer, students of all ages are invited to delve into intensive study of source material, acting, vocal techniques and musical production. Director Heidi Fredericks spoke with OLY ARTS about this process and what viewers can look forward to in these upcoming shows.
OLY ARTS: Can you tell us a bit about Apple Tree Productions and the work that you do?
Heidi Fredericks: This is our fourth summer doing educational theater for children between the ages of 5 and 18 and our first adult musical. We also have programs throughout the year, as well as a free acting class for special-needs students. Everyone who enrolls is guaranteed a part because we believe everyone deserves their moment to shine.
OLY ARTS: Describe the preparation for Hairspray. What can viewers expect?
Fredericks: We will begin preparing in mid-June and perform the show in mid-July. We will have a cast of about 40 people, ages 15 and up, most of whom have some acting experience. As for the adults, we have a fantastic group of seasoned actors who are part of the local theater community here in Olympia.
OLY ARTS: What can you tell us about Aida?
Fredericks: The thing that is exciting about Aida is that it is a one-week process. The kids work five days straight from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It sounds crazy, but the kids are actually very seasoned and anxious to be challenged. It’s this new level of excitement and pressure and it’s been really good for them.
OLY ARTS: What is unique about working with young performers?
Fredericks: Young performers are not so set in their ways. They are open to trying new things and have a certain fearlessness that we often lose as adults. It adds an excitement to the show itself, besides the fact that they are incredibly talented. We choose shows that are edgy and difficult and show our students and the audience that risks do not have to be scary; they can be exciting.
We understand you’re moving to the Capitol Theater this summer.
Fredericks: Yes, we will rehearse and perform there all summer. It is so big for us and bringing live theater back to that theater is so exciting. We also have Alice in Wonderland (July 20-23) and The Addams Family (July 27-30) there this summer, in addition to Hairspray and Aida.
What: Apple Tree Productions
Where: Capitol Theater,
206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia
When: Hairspray 7 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, July 13-16;
Alice in Wonderland, 6 p.m. July 20, 21, 23; 3 p.m. July 22;
The Addams Family, 6 p.m. July 27-29; 3 p.m. July 29-30;
Aida 6 p.m. Aug. 4; 3 p.m. Aug. 5-6
How much: $12-$15
Learn more: 360-359-6685 | tickets(through OFS)