Students Across AISD Bring Summer Theatre Series to Life


By Jack Orloff
Mamma Mia! Here we go again. The AISD Summer Theatre Series is back at the AISD Performing Arts Center.
The series runs July 15-18 with productions “Still Life with Iris,” “Charlotte's Web,” and July 23-25 with “Mamma Mia!”
The productions feature students in grades 5-12 from throughout the district as actors, dancers, and tech crew. AISD teachers direct the plays.
"The arts are vital to the human experience," said Jesssica Champion, Summer Theatre Series program coordinator. "Theatre is where all of the arts converge as one. Our district is capable of doing really amazing things, and it is our goal to invite as many kids as we can to take advantage of this incredibly unique opportunity."
Anderson High School junior Melissa Binford has been a part of the Summer Theatre Series since it began six years ago. She said the series unites different aspects of theatre from around the district.
“Every summer I do it, I have a blast and look forward to the next summer,” Binford said. “I love that I get the privilege of focusing on and polishing the show for most of the summer, and then being able to perform it for hundreds of people is amazing.”
The Summer Theater Series brings together 137 students from 36 AISD campuses to work on the productions. Since June, students and staff have arrived for rehearsal at 9 a.m. and didn’t leave until 5 p.m.
Kara Messer, costume director for The Summer Theatre Series, said the productions help give students hands-on theatre experience from script to stage.
"It provides students who are interested in learning about lighting, set design, costume building, sound design, hair, and make-up design, and many more opportunities and learning experiences that they can't get anywhere else in Austin," Messer said. 
For information on purchasing tickets for the Summer Theatre Series, please the PAC eventbrite page.