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Children's musical Saturday at Cal U

- Theater students Alivia Victoria, 10, of Boca Raton, Fla., (left) and Delaney Johnson, 9, of Charleroi, read through their script lines for the Aug. 3, 2013 performance of 'Dear Edwina.' The girls are part of The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy Summer Experience 2013. The show will be staged at 4 p.m. in Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.
Theater students Alivia Victoria, 10, of Boca Raton, Fla., (left) and Delaney Johnson, 9, of Charleroi, read through their script lines for the Aug. 3, 2013 performance of  'Dear Edwina.' The girls are part of The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy Summer Experience 2013. The show will be staged at 4 p.m. in Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.
- Maria Gismondi, a 2002 California University of Pennsylvania graduate and choreographer, is shown working with students from the Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy to create choreographed moves for the Aug. 3, 2013, performance of 'Dear Edwina.' The show is at 4 p.m. in the Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre at Cal U.
Maria Gismondi, a 2002 California University of Pennsylvania graduate and choreographer, is shown working with students from the Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy to create choreographed moves for the Aug. 3, 2013, performance of 'Dear Edwina.' The show is at 4 p.m. in the Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre at Cal U.
- Claire White, 8, of Vanderbilt, practices choreographed moves for the Aug. 3, 2013 production of 'Dear Edwina,' by The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy. The show is set for 4 p.m. in the Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.
Claire White, 8, of Vanderbilt, practices choreographed moves for the Aug. 3, 2013 production of 'Dear Edwina,' by The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy. The show is set for 4 p.m. in the Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.

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By The Valley Independent
Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy, now in its 16th year, will wrap up its 2013 summer theater experience for young performers this weekend.

A fully staged production of the children's musical “Dear Edwina” will be presented at 4 p.m. Saturday in Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre, on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.

Hosted by Cal U's Department of Theatre and Dance, the academy gives students ages 8-17 an opportunity to study musical theater. After acting, voice and dance classes and rehearsals, students present a musical complete with stage sets, costumes and props.

Thirty students are participating in this year's academy, which opened on July 22.

With music by Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, the musical centers on 13-year-old Edwina Spoonapple, who has very talented siblings but doesn't believe she is very special. On Sunday afternoons she offers advice to neighborhood kids through songs and dances that she orchestrates with friends in her garage.

“This is one of my favorite musicals. It's about a neighborhood coming together,” said Dr. Michele Pagen, the academy's artistic director and a professor in Cal U's Department of Theatre and Dance. “Edwina just wants to earn a place on the fridge and be acknowledged for her skills.”

The performance is open to the public.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the door. To order tickets in advance, leave a message at 724-938-4220.

The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the same organization that has accredited Cal U's bachelor of arts in theatre program since 2005. Mon Valley Performing Arts is one of just six such academies to hold NAST accreditation.

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