Fullerton Children’s Repertory Theater, Orange County’s longest-running, non-profit youth theater production company, marks its 30th year of performances next Wednesday (July 18) with an opening night gala celebrating its new partnership with Hope International University (HIU).
The FCRT will host the reception following the premiere of FCRT’s summer production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” at Hope International University’s Pacific Auditorium, at 2500 E. Nutwood Ave., Fullerton.
The gala will immediately follow the play, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Invited guests include HIU leaders and city of Fullerton officials.
Evening and matinee tickets for the production, which runs through July 28, are available through FCRT’s website at www.fcrtcompany.com or by calling (714) 671-7184 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Patrons also can purchase tickets at www.seatyourself.biz/fcrtcompany
. Cost is $10 per ticket.
“It’s with great excitement that we announce this milestone in the evolution of the Fullerton Children’s Repertory Theater Company with this new association with Hope International University,” said FCRT co-director Brian Johnson.
“HUI has graciously offered FCRT the use of their newly refurbished 500+ seat theater, complete with lobby, box office, refreshment stand, larger orchestra space, men’s and women’s dressing rooms, sound and light booths, and storage rooms,” said Johnson, La Habra High School teacher and FCRT alumnus. “We look forward to the opportunity to showcase HUI’s Pacific Auditorium.”
Featuring music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, “The Sound of Music” is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp and the story of the Trapp Family Singers. Songs from the musical, which originally opened on Broadway in 1959, have become standards, including “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev'ry Mountain” and “Do-Re-Mi.”
Founded in 1983, the FCRT provides north Orange County youth an opportunity to experience American musical theater by performing in some of the most famous shows produced for the stage. Each year, summer and winter, the troupe performs a Broadway show produced by local directors Johnson and Vicki Schindele.
Led by a professional paid staff, children play all roles. In addition, FCRT alumni, many now teenagers, serve as technical crew, while volunteer parents support what has become known as the “Rep family.”
“The unique aspect of our productions is that all students are assigned lines and parts rather than some merely being part of a chorus,” said Schindele, who as FCRT’s founder and co-director has taught musical theater to thousands of Fullerton elementary-aged students over the past 25 years.
“In addition, major roles are double cast in order to give more members the opportunity to grow in their abilities and to make important contributions to the libretto,” Schindele said. “When ‘out of cast,’ all performers become members of the ensemble, so that they learn how to support their peers.”
Membership in the youth theater company is by audition, with permanent status obtained after one show. Students are eligible for membership when they are in the fifth grade and remain eligible through the summer following the eighth grade.
“In true repertory spirit, they ‘play’ together until they graduate from the company,” Schindele said.