Perry-Mansfield benefit event to preview summer shows
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp is ramping up for another summer full of music, theater and dance, and this weekend, they’re inviting the Steamboat Springs community in for a preview.
The benefit evening features an intimate performance by veteran Broadway music director and incoming Head of Theatre Jeffrey Huard. He will play a selection of Broadway tunes as well as a preview of Perry-Mansfield’s upcoming shows this summer.
Huard, who has previously served as conductor for the Broadway productions “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Show Boat,” joined Perry-Mansfield last September, after several summers as a guest lecturer.
“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Perry-Mansfield,” Huard said. “It’s an exciting program for young people, and I love teaching.”
This summer, students from around the globe in various camps and age groups will perform three shows: “Frozen,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Shrek.”
“These are fantastic shows for the kids because, not only are they popular with today’s youth, but we also want to choose shows that have good stories in terms of family and values,” Huard said. “For example, ‘Frozen’ teaches us how to conquer challenges with family; ‘James and the Giant Peach’ explores themes of home. … These are wonderful pieces that will allow them to practice their craft.”
Students this summer will have plenty of opportunities to do just that. With classes in music, dance, theater and even electives, such as learning how to take great pictures on an iPhone, over 200 students are accepted into the program each year.
“Students have to audition,” Huard explained, “but often times, they send in an audition tape if we can’t see them in person. Then they apply and are selected to come join our camp.”
What: “An Evening of Song” to benefit Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22
Where: The Steinburg Pavilion at Perry-Mansfield, 40755 Routt County Road 36
Tickets: $100 at perry-mansfield.org
It’s a competitive program in a town with an abundance of dance, theater and music.
Rob Schwartz, president of the board, notes that when Perry-Mansfield was founded over 100 years ago, there was very little theater in Steamboat.
“Now, all that has changed, of course,” he said. “But for 70 or 80 years of Perry-Mansfield’s existence, that was the only theater in town. Now, it seems like we’ve kind of dropped out of view as more performing arts venues come to town. My goal is to bring us back and realign with the community.”
One challenge lies in the fact that Perry-Mansfield is seasonal. But Schwartz said an event like this will help get the community excited for what’s to come this summer.
“We haven’t held an event like this in some time,” he said. “It’s my hope that we can get a bunch of people in town to come out and learn more about what we’re doing and the direction that we’re going in.”
His goal is to bring Perry-Mansfield back into view.
“It’s a unique asset that really belongs to the Steamboat community, and I want to establish that relationship,” Schwartz said.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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