Auditions and the annual Young People’s Theater Workshop will keep the Orange Community Players busy this summer. “Once Upon A Mattress,” set for August performances, will bring some newcomers to the OCP stage.

Emily Wade of Orange has attended the Young People’s Workshop before, but this will be her first time with the adult theater. She cannot take part in the workshop this year because of her interests in a medical career that is filling her summer during that time. She plans to be a pediatric gastroenterologist, she said.

Her aunt, Shelly Fair from Mauriceville will take a break from triplets to try out her acting skills. “Yes, this is my very first time,” she said. Fourteen-year-old Danielle Bollenbacher from Bridge City Middle School is also new to OCP.

Rehearsals for “Mattress” start in five weeks after the children’s workshop finishes with it’s production of “Breaking News.” They will learn all aspects of theater from stage make-up, choreography, stage combat, costuming and auditioning. Monday was the first evening of the workshop. Besides getting an “introductory class” in acting, the older kids were taught “stage combat” by Eastwood Almazan.

They will have all the classes the first week, then audition for their parts on Friday. The other four weeks will be rehearsals for their show set for July 11-13. They will be auditioning for and directed by the OCP Junior Board of Directors: Taylor Pousson, ‘Rico Vásquez, Allie Slaten, Ariel Killian, Bridget Pattillo, Joshua Scales, Wyatt Plunkett and Devin Flicken. This gives the Junior Board experience in casting and directing.

The OCP would not be able to provide this workshop to students for the low cost of $25, if it were not for the generous grant from some great organizations. This project is funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts through the South East Texas Arts Council and by the Service League of Orange.