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KCMT is a local treasure | Editor's Notebook
Never have I seen chaos come together so beautifully.
It was early evening in mid-April at the former Chevy dealership on Viking Avenue, which for two years has been used as a rehearsal center by the Kitsap Children’s Musical Theater.
In a huge bay in the back of the building, dozens of people painted backdrops, moved sets and rehearsed scenes from “The Music Man.” Simultaneously, in the front of the building, a young actor led a rehearsal of some dance scenes. In a former office, two volunteers organized a pile of costumes and made alterations. In another area of the building, a student took a brief break from set building to work on his homework. Two volunteers, wearing shirts with “SECURITY” emblazoned on them, kept a watchful eye on people entering and exiting the building.
Board members Scott Sorensen and Melissa Holcomb Parker were giving me a tour of the upstairs classroom where students take voice lessons when the sound touched us from downstairs — voices rising in an ensemble performance of “Wells Fargo Wagon.”
“Is that a recording,” I asked, thinking the cast was listening to a soundtrack as part of rehearsal. But those voices belonged to the cast. This visit was just a glimpse of what was to take place — what is taking place — on the North Kitsap Auditorium stage this month. If watching dozens of roles come together as one fluid performance was an awesome experience, imagine what going to the play will do for your senses.
Four casts perform “The Music Man” through May 27. Tickets are available at the door and online, www.kcmt.org.
The remaining shows: Cast A, May 27, 6 p.m.; Cast B, May 27, 2 p.m.; Cast C, May 12, 3 p.m., May 13, 6 p.m., and May 26, 7 p.m.; Cast D, May 11, 7 p.m., May 12, 7 p.m., May 13, 2 p.m., and May 26, 3 p.m. Adult volunteers will perform one show on May 25 at 7 p.m.
This behind-the-scenes look was a valuable experience to me. Like most people, I go to a play or a movie and I like it or I don’t. But watching the finished product doesn’t give you a full understanding of what it took to get there. I’m reminded of what director Andrew McLaglen, formerly of Hollywood, now of the San Juan Community Theatre, told me about that: It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to bring a production to screen or stage. In that sense, every film and play is a great accomplishment, a work of art.
Kitsap Children’s Musical Theater proves that and more. In the weeks leading to “The Music Man,” the cast rehearsed two days a week and Saturdays. Parents pitched in any way they could.
Here, young people can find themselves, discover and develop their talents, and share what they know. “I’m amazed at how dedicated they are, how they bring ideas out,” Holcomb Parker said.
Sorensen added, “This is like an apprenticeship program. We’re building great people with self-confidence and commitment. They learn how to collaborate and work together as a team. And our parents are setting an example of what it means to be an involved parent.”
One KCMT alum is now studying filmmaking at USC and has returned to teach at KCMT. Other KCMT actors have gone on to perform with C Stock, the Central Stage Theatre of County Kitsap. Other KCMT veterans serve on the KCMT staff.
KCMT has taken its program to art-starved schools, and last year awarded four $1,000 scholarships. (FYI: KCMT makes its costumes available for rent. For information, email email@example.com).
KCMT is a treasure. If only there was a way for KCMT to stay at the former auto dealership, within view of the Regal 10 Cinemas; they are allowed to use it until the property sells. The former auto row is now looking to rebrand itself. Viking Avenue — arts center?
Don’t miss “The Music Man.” And contact KCMT and arrange to see what’s going behind the scenes at its Viking Avenue venue.
— Contact Richard Walker at 779-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He likes “Seventy-six Trombones.”