Wilton kids 'rock' the stage

Rock ’n’ roll takes over the Wilton Children’s Theater stage this weekend, with the fall production of Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical.

“We were looking for a show that would be fun for the children and fun for the audience as well,” said Robin Allen, who is co-producing the show with Erica Buse.

Wilton Children’s Theater’s production of Camp Rock is based on the Disney movie Camp Rock 2, about a group of friends at a rock ’n’ roll music camp who are presented with a challenge — the introduction of a new rival camp.

“They have a rock-off competition to see which camp is ‘the king of camps,’” said Ms. Allen. “It’s a very lively show with lots of singing and dancing.”

Fifty-five fourth through eighth graders have been rehearsing three days a week from 4:30 to 6:30 since September, said Ms. Allen.

Children who registered for the Wilton Children’s Theater’s fall show were selected via lottery. They then got the chance to audition for particular roles in the show shortly after Labor Day.

Ms. Allen said the Wilton Children’s Theater tries to alternate between putting on classic and modern shows.

“This was one we thought would be a real crowd-pleaser and give the kids the chance to do something different  — hip-hop dancing,” she said.

“Teaching the kids a new style of dance — especially the younger children who may not have been exposed to different styles of dance yet — has been a bit of a challenge.”

Ms. Allen said the cast took part in a special hip-hop workshop in October, where they learned different styles of hip-hop dance — “from break dancing to traditional hip-hop.”

“It was fun but a challenge, because it was a lot of dancing for one production,” said Ms. Allen, who has been a member on the Wilton Children’s Theater board for three years and co-produced last year’s fall production of Shrek.

Ms. Allen said one of the Wilton Children’s Theater’s goals is to “expose children to all different kinds of theater.”

“This particular show is a great way to expose them to lively, fun hip-hop dance. The goal is to have children, who may be shy at first, get used to being on stage and have a blast,” she said.

“We want to see every child in the show up there on stage with a smile on their face.”

Ms. Allen said the camaraderie among the children in the cast is incredible.

“The theater is for children in grades four through eight, and it’s really neat to watch the fourth and fifth graders learn from the seventh and eighth graders and become friends with them,” she said. “It’s one of the best things about the Wilton Children’s Theater.”

Camp Rock premieres Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30, with additional shows on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 4 and Sunday, Nov. 23, at 2, and Ms. Allen said she hopes to see full houses each night. All performances are at Middlebrook School auditorium.

“We’ve been working pretty hard to spread the word, and our goal is to have standing room only,” she said.

Tickets may be purchased for $12.60 online at wiltonchildrenstheater.org/tickets or at Middlebrook and the Village Market for $12 during the following times:

  • Middlebrook auditorium: Thursday, Nov. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Village Market: Friday, Nov. 21, from noon to 2, and Saturday, Nov. 22, from 10 to noon.

Information: wiltonchildrenstheater.org/the-fall-show-3.