Community pulls together for summer camp, performing arts center


Something is stirring at Big Sky Resort, and no, it’s not a monster. It’s a group of 24 kids learning to put on a real Broadway show. Kids from first to seventh grade are working tirelessly to put on a production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Director John Zirkle, vocal coach Stephanie Brink, producer Barbara Rowley, camp director Eric Corliss, have the help of two high school interns, Anna Middleton, stage manager, and Ambros Locker, technical producer. This amazing staff is assisting Big Sky Broadway camp- ers to produce it’s first complete show. Camp officially started June 20, but the staff had been putting in full days preparing for the kids for almost two weeks before that. You can see all their hard work July 1 at 6 p.m. in the resort’s auditorium.

Bring $5 for tickets at the door, and a little extra for La Chatelaine chocolate bars that will be sold at the performance. These aren’t just any yummy chocolate bars, but there are fi ve golden tickets hidden under- neath the wrappers. If you happen to know one of the performers, Big Sky’s newest florist, Big Sky Blooms will be on hand selling bouquets and will donate half the proceeds to Big Sky Broadway. If you love the performance so much and want to see it again, there will be an encore performance at Strings Under the Big Sky, Friday July 8. Producer Barbra Rowley says it takes a village to put on a musical on a shoestring budget; thanks to our community’s support, it looks like it will be possible. Big Sky Resort is playing a big part in in the program by providing a space for the kids to rehearse for two weeks, as well as a venue for the final performance. Barbra also says that they’re lucky to have community-minded Kevin Barton as the owner of Mountain View Hardware.

Mountain View Hardware provided Big Sky Broadway with paint for the backdrops as well as random supplies. Monica Eck, owner of Monica’s Salon, has donated her own time as well as her assistants. They’ll do hair and make-up for 24 cast members including those rowdy Oompa Loompas. In order to buy the license for the show the Big Sky Community and several generous community mem- bers ‘paid it forward.’ Camp Big Sky, along with camp director Katie Coleman, was also a huge help. They helped advertise Big Sky Broadway and handled the accounting. But the most important people it takes to put on a musical are the parents, grandparents and kids who provide help with costumes, props and snacks.

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Performing arts doesn’t end with Big Sky Broadway. Strings Under the Big Sky is having their annual sum- mer event to raise funds for the Ophir and Lone Peak High School music programs. The event will be held at the Clubhouse at the Club at Spanish Peaks on July 8, and is sponsored by Friends of Big Sky Education. The night will consist of music preformed by Ophir students, and Mike Reynolds as well as members of the Muir String Quartet. Tickets will be $75 a person, and it includes dinner, beer/wine, as well as the wonderful entertainment. This year, Strings Under the Big Sky will kick off a year of fundraising for the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, which will be on the Ophir School District campus.

This project is expected to be done in the fall of 2012 and will be a community concert hall with a 1,435 square foot stage/classroom, and 280 cushioned stadium seats set on risers. The completion of this project will cost around $1 million, so it is crucial that the Big Sky community is involved. Strings Under the Big Sky has been supporting music programs at Ophir and Lone Peak High School for the last five years. They have accumulated over $10,000 annually, which has enabled the school district to enhance the music programs with violin instruction and the purchasing of instruments. To purchase tickets call 995-7951 or email