Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Skylight Music Theatre KidsWrites At Summerfest for Free

KidsWrites performing on July 5th

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Some time ago I was on the bus heading out to a show at Next Act when I ran into local actor Rick Pendzich. He was on his way to a show at the Broadway Theatre. We got to talking. He told me about working with Skylight Music Theatre on their Kidswrites program. It's really interesting . . . kids in schools all over the area submit writing to the program and a  trio of composers work on turning that writing into music. The purity of emotion in that is really powerful. When a kid writes about a crush or a break-up or really ANYTHING, there really isn't any artifice--there isn't any filter. There isn't really any sense of the fact that other people have written song and poetry about these sorts of things before . . . it's so raw and unfiltered. And sometimes it gets weird. Kids write about Math, Food, the future and clones and gossip and emotions and things. 

 

And Kidswrites performs it entirely as written . . . no corrections are made. Pronunciations have to be adjusted for misspellings. It sounds fascinating. This is performance entirely directed by what kids write on the page, which sounds really, really interesting . . . especially as performed by professionals with Skylight. 

 

There's a whole series of videos on You Tube featuring the Kidswrites material including the notable talents of Pendzich and Karen Estrada. It's kind of inexplicably entertaining stuff. It's all too easy to get lost in those videos . . . here's the link. A little less than a half hour later, you realize you've watched most of what thhey've got uploaded . . . and you want more.

 

Skylight's KidsWrites offers more live as it makes an appearance at Summerfest this year. The group appears July 5th at 3:15 pm at the Northwestern Mutual Children's Playzone. The really cool thing about this is that it's entirely free. July 5th is Kid's Day. Visitors arriving between noon and 3pm will be admitted free. This may be too interesting an opportunity to pass up . . .  just make sure to keep cool . . . 

 

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