Pop out the marshmallows, bring on the graham crackers and don’t forget the chocolate because it’s time to go back to summer camp.
SCERA’s Shell Outdoor Theatre is rocking summer camp in “Disney’s Camp Rock” showing through July 23 on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
The musical follows teenage campers looking forward to another great summer at Camp Rock, but with new musical competition from a camp across the lake, Camp Rock is threatened and may have to close unless determined campers hatch a plan to save the summer.
Audience members become a part of Camp Rock with its half-musical, half-rock concert feel.
“The show is very unique,” said Alex Lund, who plays Shane Gray, one of the lead campers. “The idea is [audiences] are going to go experience what it’s like to be at Camp Rock. I think with a lot of shows you don’t normally see that.”
Director Shawn Mortensen hopes audience members feel a part of Camp Rock and enjoy the almost interactive production.
“We use the whole theater,” Mortensen said. “My actors are running up and down the hill. They are coming down through the audience. It’s all over the place, a 360-degree theater experience.”
Gary and Janneal Nuttall, frequenters of SCERA events, said they enjoyed being involved in the production and loved the bits of humor scattered throughout the musical.
“They have them coming down the aisles,” Janneal Nuttall said. “It makes you a part of it and everyone’s clapping and having fun. I’ve never seen the movie, but I’m totally enjoying this. I’m not a teeny bopper; I’m old and crusty, but I love this. It’s fun.”
The title of SCERA’s latest musical production may provide skepticism for older crowds, but the director feels those who come won’t walk away disappointed and may even leave singing.
“A lot of the adults are going to come, and they are going to feel like they are going to the dentist because their coming with their kids or their coming to see their friends,” Mortensen said. “But when it’s done they will be the people geeking out about how cool the show is and how fun it was. They will be driving to work the next morning and start humming ‘Start the Party,’ and they are going to be embarrassed about that, but it’s OK. We’ll start a support group.”
A pre-show is offered at 7:15 p.m. with beach balls being tossed around and audience volunteers learning a dance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children (age 3-11), seniors (65-plus) and students (with ID).
“I’m hoping that the pre-show sets the precedent for everybody to realize this is a party show,” Mortensen said. “It is not a sit reverently and light golfer clap show. It’s a scream and yell, go crazy kind of show.”