The Redondo Union High School Theatre Arts students have been working on their next production, “Toy Camp.” The play was written and directed by retired RUHS drama teacher and young adult author Paul Collette.
The script won the Shubert Fendrich memorial Playwriting Award in 1995 and was preformed at RUHS in 1997.
“It’s timeless,” said Collette, “It’s about toys learning to be toys.”
Toy Camp photos by Tara Travers
The play features many songs, such as “Things are Ruff all Over, Rover,” sung by Rover and “I go to Pieces,” sung by the puppets.
Collette found inspiration for the play when his son was three and had toys covering his bedroom. His son, now 26, had some of the beginnings of the songs sung to him with stuffed animals and glow toys before going to bed.
“There are lots of toe tapping, memorable songs,” said Collette. “Every toy has a problem and they have to solve them before they can graduate and get their price tag to go on the shelf.”
The cast of 14 include two student assistant directors, Jenn Duong and Emily Conway plus two stage managers; Leanna Lincoln and Chris Maillet as well as thespians Kelsey Simon playing Miss Grouchstick and the Witch; Jonathon Bush and Celine Altamura who play Jig and Saw, Rover who will be played by Caleb Walker and Ted E. Bear played by John Webb.
The production has already performed eight previews at local elementary schools, “and the kids loved it,” Collette said.
The show will be for three days only at the Black Box Theatre at RUHS on Jan. 11, 12 and 13 starting at 6 p.m. The tickets are $3 for kids and $5 for adults. Tickets are available at the Theatre Arts Drama Website at www.ruhsdrama.com and if still available, at the door. After the show there will be free cookies and punch and the toys will mingle with the audience.
“I’m really enjoying the cast, they are great,” said Collette. “They are really dedicated and have lots of talent. It’s been a joy to work with them.”