College Scholarships Available

Last year, the Pinewood Players initiated a scholarship program designed to assist students who want to attend a college or university and study some form of theater arts.  Up to two scholarships of $2,000 each are being offered.

Scholarship awards are intended to aid students who have a close connection to Munds Park, maintain a high grade average, and demonstrate leadership qualities.  Young people who have participated in the Pinewood Drama Camps are encouraged to apply.  The expectation is that a scholarship recipient will pursue at least a minor in a theatre field such as acting, directing, music, dance, or technical fields such as lighting, sound, scene design and/or performing arts education.  They must enroll full time and participate in some way in college productions.  Recipients may attend any accredited two or four year college or university without regard to location.

Applications are now being accepted. The application form can be found and printed by clicking on Scholarship under the Drama Camp menu item on our website.  Applications are due by May 15.  They are also available by contacting  Rich Dahl at PO Box 18484, Munds Park, AZ 86017.

Last years’ recipients were Claire Haller and Mandy Tomkins.  Both had previously attended Drama Camp and are now in their first year of college level study. Decisions regarding recipients or our scholarships are made by the PWP Scholarship Committee and Board of Directors.


Drama Camp News

It’s the start of the 2017 season of the Pinewood Players Drama Camp. Drama Camp is a great opportunity for children to exercise their theatrical ambitions in a fun learning environment. In addition to performance rehearsals, campers will participate in creative drama activities meant to develop acting skills and an appreciation for and understanding of the theater craft. Kidz Kamp is the camp for younger children, ages 7 to 11. Teen Camp is the camp for older children from ages 12 to 18.

Kidz Kamp Ages 7 to 11: This year Kidz Kamp will be presenting the production Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway. This production is in the grand tradition of 42nd Street and the great Broadway musicals with songs from George M. Cohan. Kidz Kamp’s young thespians learn the basics of acting, singing, projecting, and memorization during the two weeks of camp. We have a seasoned Director in Lynn Rouyer and four camp counselors, as well as several adult supervisors, to work with the children. Tuition is $150 per camper. Performance tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online here, or at the box office. Enrollment in Kidz Kamp is limited to 25 campers. Kidz Kamp will run weekdays from 9:00 to 12:00 on June 26th (arrive at 8:30 on Monday for registration and pictures) through July 9th, with performances on July 7th, 8th, and 9th. There will be no camp on Tuesday, the Fourth of July. We will have a makeup session on Saturday, July 1st, from 9:00 to 12:00.

Teen Camp Ages 12 to 18: The Teen Camp will be performing Totally Awesome 80s. This fun-filled tribute to the 1980s features nods to 80s teen movies and celebrities and a rockin’ score that captures the hit sounds of the decade. Remember big hair and eyeliner, MTV, Betamax and Atari, leg warmers and parachute pants? Like, for sure! Dale Nakagawa will be back as Director and Leslie Fields will be back as Music Director. Tuition is $175 per camper. Performance tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online here, or at the box office. Enrollment in Teen Camp is limited to 25 campers. The Teen Camp will run weekdays from 1:00 to 4:30 on June 26th through July 16th, with performances on July 14th, 15th, and 16th. Arrive early at 12:30 on Monday, June 26th for registration and pictures.

The 2017 Pinewood Players Drama Camp tuition fees include a Drama Camp T-shirt, a script and music CD, daily snacks, the cast party, and a performance DVD.

Note that there are two Registration forms; one for Kidz Kamp and one for Teen Camp. If you have multiple campers in one or both camps, you must fill out a Registration form and a Liability Release form for each camper. The forms are available here for download. Also, please note that participants in Drama Camp must have a Pinewood Players Member sponsor. The PWP Membership form is also available here for download.

Send the Registration form, Liability Release form, tuition check, PWP Membership form (if needed), and a photo of the camper(s) to:

Susan Liberty, Drama Camp Administrator, 8972 W Topeka Dr, Peoria, AZ 85382

Or email to
Phone: 623.341.9435

Review of Wipeout

Reviewed by Clyde Morrison

Wipeout was the Tween Drama Camp presentation this year. The youth performers were between the ages of 11 and 17, under the direction of Dale Nakagawa. There were twelve original songs in the play with singing and dancing in each one. What exuberance and energy these young people had in all the songs! I was told that the director, Mr. Nakagawa, was also the choreographer for the show and what a job he and the performers did. There was a lot of memorization for even the smallest role in the show, and the performers were all up to the task.

The play was a simple story about property that “Mom” and “Pop” owned at the beach, and they were going to sell it. The Avalon Kids, who loved the beach for its surfing, were set on trying to save the beach to keep it for the surfing. They were opposed by the Cove Kids who were trying to take the beach from them. It all rested on a surfing contest between the champ of the Avalons and the Coves. Just before the contest the Avalon champ, Riptide, hurt his leg, and a girl, Midge, had to take his place.

The story was not all that exciting, but the choreography and energy of these young actors and actresses was infective. The girl in the lead, Midge, was played by a dynamic and exciting Camryn Consolian. She was constantly in motion trying to save the beach, but the most impressive section for me was when she got on that surfboard and showed such a determined look on her face. She was going to win the contest, and there was no question about it. What a performance!

The two male leads, Riptide and Reef played by Kaleb Tompkins and Nick Kenehan, were also up to their tasks. Both kept into character so well that they made us believe they were actually the surfers. Kaleb was the blond, good looking, hero with the shy smile that all the girls loved, and Nick was the dark haired villain who would do anything, including cheat, to win. Nick had a strong speaking and singing voice that carried to the back of the theater. While these two boys were leads, other boys showed that they could carry their parts well also and were not bashful as some boys are at that age. Elliot Hull as Pop, the aged surfer and father of Midge, gave a very believable performance right down to his limping with a cane. Ryan McGraw, Cameron Edenfield, Chris Kenehan, Evan Searls, and C. J. Hanson had speaking parts and did an excellent job entertaining us with their different characterizations.

The girls, in addition to Camryn Consolian, also had great parts. I thoroughly enjoyed Mattie Mitchell with her inability to rhyme her speeches although she tried. Madison Edmonds kept moving throughout the play while listening to music on a small transistor radio or tape. Her engine never stopped, and she certainly was one of the important reasons for the tremendous energy of the group. Another of the girls that I enjoyed was Claire Haller who played Wendy. Claire had stage presence and a smile that drew us into the scene. She seemed to enjoy the music and the dancing, and that made the audience realize that we enjoyed it also. And, also Wipeout had that person on the beach with the metal detector looking for buried treasure. Paige Petrine was great, popping in and out of scenes, until she finally found the gold cup that had been won by Pop in a surfing contest.

As usual, in a play like this, there are many helpers backstage setting the scenery, painting, making costumes organizing, and on and on. Kathy Abramowitz was the producer. Kathy Wendling was assistant producer with Madilyn MacFarland as a student assistant. Madilyn was a drama camp veteran who was tireless in her work with the campers and the production. Every play needs that someone who goes out of her way to help wherever she is needed. I am told that Madilyn was that person. Set construction chiefs were Stewart Lanier and David Westmark.   The very difficult job of working with the young voices belonged to the music director from NAU, Stephanie Whitaker. With so little time for preparation, she had these teens singing with gusto the thirteen original songs.

Dale Nakagawa, the director, was talented in many ways, and we were certainly lucky that he agreed to take charge of the whole program this year. What a wonderful job all of these crew adults did to make a very enjoyable evening. Thank you.

As to the older teens who are moving on from drama camp, we are looking forward to seeing you in the Pinewood Players performances on the main stage in the future.

Review of Rock Around The Block

Reviewed by Clyde Morrison

Presented by the Tween Drama Kamp

What a delight! This was a play with 1950’s music sung and danced and the culture of the 50’s and 60’s explored . It gave us oldsters in Munds Park a chance to reminisce and enjoy. I know it took me back to that Mary Coyle ice cream shop (that’s before she moved to Phoenix) in Akron, Ohio. That was our place for getting together and having fun after a play or concert. The white and pink painted walls, and the tables, chairs, and table cloths that were borrowed from the Sugar Bowl, made it seem we were there. This was a perfect play to be put on in front of so many of us Senior Citizens. Thanks, director Matt Dearing. That was one of the best ten bucks I have ever spent.

The story was about a nice girl named Gracie, played by Madison Edmonds, and her friends who wanted to have a good dance for their school. Gracie and her sister, Jeanie, played by Camryn Consolian went to see the rock star Ziggie Springer who just happened to be Gracie’s second cousin (or something like that) to invite him to their dance. If he would come, that would insure a successful dance.

Now my tough job as the critic is to pick out the ones whose characters really stood out. It was tough because everyone did such a good job. I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Albino (as Ziggy Springer) with his Elvis treatment of “ Baby, Baby, Baby.” I think he had some moves while he was singing of which even Elvis would have been jealous. Sam had an excellent voice, but those moves really took us back to Elvis. The idea the director had of putting all those screaming girls who wanted just to touch Ziggy or get near him really enhanced the scene. Madison Edmonds as Gracie also had the fantastic moves of a teenage girl. When she was shy and giggly, or when she was let down by her cousin, her facial as well as body emotions let us realize again how good and how bad things could get to a teenager. Others that really stood out for me were the soda jerk, Nick Kenehan with his imitation of Ziggy imitating Elvis; Alexa Herriman as the owner or at least manager of the soda parlour who wanted to be “in” with the kids, but also wanted to keep order in her store (what outstanding facial expressions she had); Brittany Baxley who as Muffin was the leader of a group of girls who were the stuck up rich girls that opposed Gracie’s group of “good” girls. Brittany really projected her voice and could be easily heard and followed by the audience.

And then there were the tough biker group, led by Sinbad Gallucci, played by Kevin Duffy. Kevin has a fine speaking and singing voice and also did some smooth dancing. I loved the part of one of his biker girls played by Claire Haller. She was the girl who always had a sucker in her mouth and was not always paying close attention to what Sinbad was saying and doing. Every once in a while she had to be brought back to reality. Her character was the comedy highlight of the whole play.

There were many, many highlights in this play that showed a lot of fine direction and hard work from the performers. Among them: that strong opening that Jughead James (Eliot Hull) made on his first appearance, the strong singing and dancing by the entire group, those groovy 50’s jitterbug steps by everyone, and on and on.

My wife and I, who helped a little with the jitterbug dances, had the pleasure of watching Director Matt Dearing interact with the teens – all of whom reacted in such a joyous manner Pinewood Players is so lucky and proud to have him along with Penny Peterson and Susan Liberty and many other adults to work with these kids to give them one of the most interesting and memorable times of their lives. Kudos to all. What’s up next, Matt?