On Stage

Acting Out

A stage kids grow through


What: 13 the Musical

Where: BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State St.


WHEN: July 12-14

Info: http://www.baay.org

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

At 13, I got caught smooching a boy at church camp and was forced to lead that night’s singalong around the campfire. My punishment was embarrassing, but because I was generally thought of as being a goody two-shoes, it was also kind of exciting to be a rebel.

A few years later, nobody gave a whit when I made out with a fellow thespian at an immersive theater camp at Western Washington University. I’m not sure if this means actors are generally more accepting than churchgoers, or if it’s just a lot more difficult to be a preteen than it is to be a sage high school student.

That conundrum of youth will be explored in more detail when Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth presents 13 the Musical July 12-14 at the BAAY Theater. The coming-of-age production won’t be helmed by adults, but by a team of creative kids who aren’t too far removed from their own preteen years—making them the perfect people to lead their peers in this venture. Co-directors Brody Buck and Adaryn Healy are ages 16 and 15 respectively, and choreographer Meixing Rain is 17 years old.

Set to a score by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, the song-and-dance storyline follows a preteen named Evan Goldman as he navigates a new middle school following his parents’ divorce. As he deals with popularity contests, awkward crushes and finding his own pathway to self-confidence, audiences will get a sense of what it means to be an adolescent. The PG-13 play is meant to be seen by both youth and adults as a way to connect and discuss this important time in their lives, and if you need to have a conversation about how old your progeny should be before they start swapping spit with other people, this might be the time.

Since it’s summer, BAAY has plenty of additional offerings for other creative kids who want to get onstage and discover their burgeoning talents. Youth can explore creative theater and art revolving around traditional childhood stories at a Storybook Theatre and Art Camp taking place July 15-19, and a Hogwarts Express Camp happening during the same time frame will bring on the magic. A Creation Lab Camp (July 15-Aug. 4), Circus Camp (July 22-26), Mythical Creatures Camp (Aug. 5-9), and a production of The Phantom Tollbooth (Aug. 5-25) are also among the offerings on the seasonal roster.

In coming weeks, area adolescents can also act out at a trio of Missoula Children’s Theatre camps at the Mount Baker Theatre, join the two-week Skagit Theatre Camp to put on a production of School House Rock Live Jr. at the Lincoln Theatre, and take part in Youth Improv Camp and Teen Improv Camp at the Upfront Theatre. If it’s a stage you think they’ll grow through, sign ‘em up.

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