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Teenagers script and perform new theater production

"Actor-improvisationalist Loren Churchill gives directorial support to a new production written and performed by local teens. See the productionOut of the BlueSaturday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m.Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, LangleyTickets, $5 at the door; ages 19 and under admitted freeOn the heels of the successful teen presentation of El Zocalo last summer, local teenagers are mounting another production, this time to be performed at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts on Saturday.Out of the Blue is an original production written and performed by local teens with directorial and choreographic support by Loren Churchill and Christine Tasseff. Cast members Shane Clyburn, Katrina Ellison, Tashina Jirikovik, Courtney Linclau and Stephanie Linclau offer an intimate collection of song, dance, theater and poetry expressing the feelings and challenges associated with coming of age.Unique to this program is the level of total involvement the youth have with the process, Tasseff said. After selecting their own pieces, they're given the creative challenge of tying it all together. Every element of set and lighting design, costume and music choices, choreography and artistic content are designed and agreed upon by the group as a whole.Out of the Blue is sponsored by RITES (Real Individual Tales Expressed Socially) a not-for-profit organization formed following the huge success of the summer performance of El Zocalo, which was made possible by a grant from RUAD (Reduce Underage Drinking). El Zocalo was an artistic dramatization of the life of South Whidbey student Seth Raabe, set around the issues of social and peer pressures, experimentation with drugs and the struggle for artistic expression.Following the performance of El Zocalo, audience members were invited to participate in a discussion around the issues and feelings raised in the performance. There will be a similar opportunity after Out of the Blue, when performers will interact with their audience about the impact of their production. It is my firm belief that opening and encouraging dialogue between youth and adult community members is a vital link in creating a strong community, said Loren Churchill. Whether expressed artistically or communicated verbally our youth have a lot to say and deserve to be heard.Churchill added: Theater provides the container for teens to be supported and celebrated in their declarations of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are all asked to commit the time and energy it takes to plan and execute the performance. They learn to execute their part with strength and learn to trust other cast members. The performance in and of itself is a scary yet exciting rite of passage.The young thespians had the support of Beno Kennedy, for help with set construction, and Eduaro Jezierski, who donated his time and talent as the lighting and sound technician. Jezierski has also taken on cast member Stephanie Linclau as his apprentice.Jennifer Sand of the Giraffe Project provided administrative support for Out of the Blue. RITES is funded by individual donations from the community. "

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