In the Spotlight

Local theater performances to take in this summer.

  Next month, my son Dylan will be a junior at the University of Missouri, where he is studying broadcast journalism. He hopes to spend his career in front of a camera, but early on, it was the stage that held his heart. He spent a good deal of time playing hockey, soccer, baseball, football and took many years of karate lessons, but never once did I see a passion, a ‘fire in the belly’ for an activity; that is, until he started acting.In the sixth grade, he was cast as co-lead in his classroom production of A Child’s Day in Rome. He studied his lines with the determination of a Hollywood actor aching for an Emmy. The day of the show arrived and, true to form, he was prepared; in fact, he had memorized not only his lines, but his co-lead’s lines as well, which came in handy when she forgot her lines and Dylan whispered them in her ear to keep the whole performance moving along.             That day, literally, changed his life. He stopped playing sports and immersed himself in acting. Since then, he has been in 16 musicals and plays, a sitcom at his college and a short film that was shown at the Palm Springs Film Festival. His career as a prospective broadcast journalist is directly related to those experiences on the stage. Turns out, you never know where those early performances may take you.             With that in mind, I encourage you to take in the Alice in Wonderland production put on by the summer youth program kids at Lakeshore Players Theatre. Who knows where these kids could be headed. ALICE IN WONDERLAND July 26–August 4 @ Lakeshore Players Theatre, 4820 Stewart Ave., White Bear Lake Travel with Alice to the whimsical Wonderland where you can have tea with the Mad Hatter and see the elusive ways of the Cheshire cat. The Lakeshore Players’ rendition of this classic tale is part of the Summer Youth Program. Call the box office at 651.429.5674 for details.    And, if you’re interested in seeing local folks hit the stage the way the Bard himself did, grab a lawn chair and a picnic dinner and head to the west lawn of Century College.  SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY PERFORMANCES AUGUST 2–4 @ Century College West Campus, 3300 Century Ave. N., White Bear Lake Celebrate some of Shakespeare’s greatest works with Shakespeare & Company as they perform classics like Beaux’ Stratagem, Macbeth and Taming of the Shrew. Call the box office at 651.779.5818 for details.