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Sooke’s Amber Academy ready to rock

Fine arts group adapts Rock of Ages: Youth Edition student’s first production

Instructors and volunteers at Amber Academy are expanding their horizons for a rocky start to September.

“We are particularly thrilled to introduce our new advanced acting with stagecraft class for teens in September, with Rock of Ages set to launch the new season,” Keli Dunn, executive director for the Sooke-based Amber Academy Fine Arts Society, said.

“Now, after five successful seasons focusing on collaborative projects for all-ages theatre productions, we’re expanding to offer local middle and high school students something they’ve never had before,” Dunn said. “A chance to direct, cast, and fully design a show they can really call their own.”

Amber Academy has adapted Rock of Ages: Youth Edition to create an age-appropriate version of the rocking Broadway musical for the student’s first production.

The show will feature some of the top hits of the 1980s, including songs by Styx, Journey, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake and others. The music is adjusted for teen voices, with performances scheduled for Feb. 3 and 4.

“We have a fantastic team of instructors who will be mentoring the students in stagecraft arts, including directing, casting, stage management, costumes and scenery design, and props and set building,” Dunn said. “They will guide the students through each step of the project, but as the production team, the students themselves will make all final decisions on every aspect of the show.”

Participants can choose to be part of the cast or work behind the scenes. Students not in the cast will be challenged to work as director, assistant director, stage manager, and other leadership or stagehand roles.

Amber Academy is also re-introducing its technical design class for students who want to work in lighting and sound, which is an integral part of the project.

Students involved in Rock of Ages: Youth Edition will meet on Sundays and Fridays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall. Plans for later in the year include a junior and advanced spring musical show and a mini-musical written by students planned for June.

Annual membership fees for Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society are $50 for single-child families and $75 for multi-child families.

Other classes being offered for various age groups include art, choir and show choir, costumes and fashion design, filmmaking, and photography.

To register or for more information, visit, email, or call 250-888-1921.

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