Members of the Kenai Performers perform in the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the Kenai Central High School auditorium in Kenai, Alaska on Feb. 19, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Members of the Kenai Performers perform in the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the Kenai Central High School auditorium in Kenai, Alaska on Feb. 19, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Youth actors return to stage

Kenai Performers youth drama camp returns after a one-year hiatus.

The Kenai Performers youth drama camp is now underway, and participants are already preparing for their rendition of “The Little Mermaid” show in four weeks.

Registration was open to kids ages 9 to 18 years old. Terri Burdick — president of the Kenai Performers board of directors — said 12 kids came to the first day of camp on Monday.

Last year the drama camp was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burdick said, but they are all looking forward to the 2021 season.

“It feels great. I think the kids were excited,” she said. “The Kenai Performers are excited to be back.”

This year, Burdick said, she has a vocal director to help with “The Little Mermaid.” Usually, she ends up teaching the kids all the songs by listening to recordings.

Their performance will be different from Disney’s version, Burdick said, including the characters, score and length. She said she’s planning this week to line up the cast list so they can begin to fine-tune the show.

“We’ll be contrasting what is similar and what is different,” Burdick said about the show’s variations.

She said she sent the kids home with their scripts on Monday so they can start to study the dialogue and prepare to become their individual characters. Kids are always able to get a grasp the performance quickly, she said.

“I do try to work with what I know the kids’ strengths are,” Burdick said. “Kids just soak that stuff up, it’s amazing.”

The campers will perform on July 16 at 6:30 p.m. and July 17 at 2 p.m. at the Performers’ building on 43335 Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna, which is on the back of the Subway restaurant.

“We usually get a nice crowd,” Burdick said. “It’s always nice to have an audience to perform for.”

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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