Civic Theatre’s Young Artists Program Presents ‘Saturday Night Fever’
What better way to wrap up summer break than by attending a LIVE and FULL HOUSE production of “Saturday Night Fever,” Thursday, July 29–Sunday, August 1, 2021, presented by Civic Theatre’s Young Artist Program (YAP)? Won’t you join us in supporting young artists from all over central Indiana, including Carmel and Zionsville, and Civic’s own YAP Coordinator Anne Beck, along with husband Scott Beck, by purchasing your tickets before they are sold out?
Did you know that Scott and Anne Beck were in the original Broadway production of “Saturday Night Fever”? Anne is directing and choreographing this show with original Broadway choreography and her husband Scott is a member of this remarkable cast comprised of some of Indiana’s most talented youth.
A Little Backstory
Civic Theatre’s Young Artists Program (YAP) is a year-round series of workshops and seminars designed just for high school students interested in improving their skills in a professional setting and looking to prepare for college auditions and beyond.
Civic’s YAP production of “Saturday Night Fever” is an all-new version of the musical based on Nik Cohn’s 1975 New York magazine article “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” and Norman Wexler’s 1977 film, featuring music by the Bee Gees adapted for high school productions. This musical adaptation of the ’70s classic film is the story of a talented, streetwise kid from Brooklyn who attempts to escape his dead-end life through dancing. The score to “Saturday Night Fever” includes many disco-era hits by the Bee Gees. Broadway’s “Saturday Night Fever” opened at the Minskoff Theatre in October 1999 and ran for 501 performances.
As members of the original cast of the company and the first national tour of Broadway’s “Saturday Night Fever,” Anne and Scott Beck are bringing their personal experiences and knowledge of the show to YAP’s cast and crew.
Beck shared that YAP’s production was originally slated to open last year. Due to the pandemic-related restrictions, the show was rescheduled for this year.
Beck and her husband, Scott, were able to participate in a reunion with the original cast of the company in Times Square in NYC in 2019 to celebrate the opening of the original Broadway show’s 20th anniversary.
“We actually went to New York [City] and celebrated a huge Times Square flash mob event where we performed our entire mega mix with the original cast of the company and the first national tour,” Beck shared. “It was just an amazing experience to be in the original company. I also did the whole [national] tour, so it was a part of my life for about three and a half years. It is also where Scott and I met. We met on the Broadway show and the tour, and then we got married years later.”
Beck credited the original company’s choreographer Arlene Phillips, whose original Broadway choreography will be featured in YAP’s show.
“Arlene was also the original choreographer of ‘Annie’ the movie that featured Aileen Quinn who we all know with those beautiful freckles,” Beck shared. “Aileen played ‘Annette’ on the tour with us, which was super cool.”
Celebrating Some of Indiana’s Most Talented Student Actors
YAP’s “Saturday Night Fever” will be the first live performance with full-house capacity at The Tarkington, and as Beck expressed, she and the entire cast and crew are ready to pack the house! In addition to featuring current YAP students in this production, Beck has invited all the former students from central Indiana who graduated last year but were not able to have that senior sendoff and final YAP performance due to the pandemic.
“We invited those who were on that list of students who have participated and grown up in the YAP program but were robbed of that final opportunity to come back and audition,” Beck stated. “Five of the ones we invited took that bite and are part of the cast: Hayden Elefante and Mahesh Gupta who are from Zionsville, Elie Anania and Julia Ammons who are from Carmel and Jacob Schilling who is from Fishers.”
YAP Is About More Than Just Acting
Beck shared that working with Civic’s Director of Music and Education Brent Marty on this production has been a “hoot” and that they take pride in preparing their students for life on and off the stage.
“Being able to share this with Brent has been awesome because he enjoys the ’70s as much as I do,” Beck said. “It’s been a hoot because he shares all kinds of tidbits with the kids, and it’s been great. We tell them all the time that while YAP is a preprofessional training program, it’s not just for those who have dreams of being on Broadway. YAP helps them prepare for college and job interviews, and teaches them how to be good public speakers, networking skills and how to carry themselves. The compliment that I hear most from parents is how they saw their kid’s shell open up and how they became much more confident in social situations and in trying new things. The program is artistic, but it’s so much more than that!”
For tickets to “Saturday Night Fever” and for more information about YAP and all of Civic’s programs, visit civictheatre.org.