Steamboat Chief Youth Players present ‘Short and Funny’ production
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — They’re short. They’re funny. All together, they’re “Short and Funny,” the Chief Youth Players’ production of one-act skits and improv bits, premiering Friday at the Chief Theater.
This will be the Youth Players’ first non-holiday show. At the most recent holiday show, “An Elf in Elementary School” in December 2018, 50 children auditioned for 15 speaking parts.
“And I thought, clearly, there’s a demand for youth theater in Steamboat,” Short and Funny co-director Scott Parker said.
So, the Chief focused on fulfilling the demand.
About 25 kids, ages 6 to 15, will take part in the five one-act plays and four improv sets of “Short and Funny.”
“(All the one-acts) have a vaudeville feel to them, a slapsticky, Groucho Marx feel,” Parker said. “They’re all kinds of spoofs.”
There’s a Hansel and Gretal spoof, a Little Orphan Annie spoof, a Geico caveman spoof, an operating room spoof and a Judge Judy courtroom spoof.
While AJ Jennings co-directs the whole show with Parker, each one-act play also features another director: a 13- to 15-year-old Youth Player.
What: The Chief Youth Players present “Short and Funny”
When: Doors/Bar 6:30 p.m., Show: 7 p.m. June 14 and 15
Where: the Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $15, available at chieftheater.com or All That
“We’re letting the kids make decisions on costuming and blocking,” Parker said.
Between each five-minute, one-act play will be a short set of improv.
“It gets kids thinking in a different way and using a different part of their brain that they’re not used to,” said Parker, who’s been performing and teaching improv for 15 years. He noted the lessons improv games can teach kids: constructing a beginning, middle and end; scene flow; and, above all, positivity.
“The No. 1 rule of improv is positivity,” Parker said. “We say ‘yes’ to everything — ‘yes, and.’ We don’t deny someone’s idea and shut down the skit. Isn’t it more fun to be around positive people than negative people?”
Participation in the Chief Youth Players is entirely free for every young actor. Costs have been covered by grants, sponsor Alpine Bank, support from the most recent Super Fun Show and the most recent set of Impact 100 events.
“It’s a great, affordable way for kids to be exposed to the arts,” Parker said. “It’s a really unique thing we have here, and it’s only getting stronger.”
“Short and Funny” begins at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, with the Chief’s doors and bars opening at 6:30 p.m. The entire show will last about an hour.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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