Arts and Entertainment

Young performers are front and center

Children’s theater for and by South King County youths is centerstage this month.

Puget Sound Musical Theatre’s production of “Starmites,” featuring eight Federal Way residents, opened last night and continues through Aug. 11; two Federal Way teenagers are involved in productions by Seattle Children’s Theatre; and Missoula Children’s Theatre will wrap up a two-show run today in Des Moines.

Puget Sound Musical Theatre

Twenty-five students 12 to 21 years old are staging “Starmites,” a rock musical about a young woman finding her place in a world that doesn’t accept her.

The show debuted last night at Auburn Riverside Theatre (on the Auburn Riverside High School campus) as part of a dinner theater and silent auction. More shows are tonight and Aug. 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and tomorrow and Aug. 11 at 2 p.m.

Cast members from Federal Way include Garrett Coates, 21, who is playing Trinkulus, a lizard-like character, in his sixth Puget Sound Musical Theatre (PSMT) production; Kimmie Daudet, a Thomas Jefferson High School graduate, has the lead role of Eleanor; Christian Duhamel, another Jefferson graduate now studying acting and theater at Wright State University; Michelle Harvey, making her fifth PSMT appearance; Nicolae Koloen, who graduated from Jefferson and is headed to Western Washington University as a music education major; Fred Tse, appearing in his seventh PSMT show; Thad White, recently graduated from Jefferson and bound for Seattle Pacific University; and Ema Yamamoto, a ninth-grader at Saghalie Junior High School who’s making her debut.

“Starmites” is the fifth annual summer workshop program of PSMT. The production team includes professional artists and school teachers.

Tickets ($6 to $16) can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling (206) 246-1208.

Seattle Children’s Theatre

Federal Way residents Shawntea Churchill and Chloe Payne, both juniors at Decatur High School, are participating in Seattle Children’s Theatre’s summer productions.

Churchill is in “Motor City Musical Revue” Aug. 8, 9 and 10. The shows, all starting at 8 p.m., feature the music and dance of 1960s-era Detroit musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations.

Payne is part of “Young Actor Institute Showcase.”

Churchill, who has taken two-hour bus rides each way to attend three-hour rehearsals Monday through Friday, is making her musical debut by singing and dancing in “Motor City.” She sings a solo of “Baby I Need Your Lovin,’” an original Four Tops song.

Churchill and Payne, both 16, are among 140 students in grades four through 12 who were accepted into the theatre’s drama school from 250 who auditioned for the summe season.

Performances are at SCT’s Charlotte Martin and Eva Alvord Theatres at 201 Thomas St. at Seattle Center. Tickets range from $5 to $11 and can be purchased by phone at (206) 441-3322.

Missoula Children’s Theatre

Missoula Children's Theatre’s second and final peformance of “Tales of Hans Christian,” featuring more than 50 local students, is today at 3 p.m. at the Masonic Retirement Center in Des Moines, 23660 Marine View Dr. S.

A conceited emperor, a duckling that doesn’t fit in, a bouquet of magical flowers and a thumb-size girl are the subjects of classic stories from a storytelling master. The original, musical adaptation, which debuted last night, outlines the life of the Danish artist.

The cast includes Zachary Wood, Hannah Barrie, Melissa Moore, Briana Ledesma, Chelsea Rissler, Alana DaCosta, Kaitlynn Mann, Amy Kasprzyk, Amy Pate, Ginger Mahugh, Kendell Hutchins, Tyler Escott, Brian Pate, Lyndsey Wood, Addison Saisslin, Cassandra Morrison, Kasie Pate, Briana Ruth, Naomi Forward, Cait Davison, Sara Newport, Hannah Thoreson, Aleah Ruth, Mathias Forward, Chelsea Thompson, Sara Davison, Sophia Schroder, Emma Hanlon, Jacob Jones, Effie Mahugh, Sally Thrall, Ryan Pate, Vanessa Jackson and Shannon Miller. Reilley Hutchins, Melody Thrall and Jessica Escott are assistant directors, and James Ledesma will run the lights.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at the door and in advance at the Des Moines Field House at 1000 S. 220th St. Admission is free for children under 2.

The Missoula Children's Theatre residency in Des Moines is presented by the city’s Park and Recreation Department.

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