Youth theater marks 25 years at Apollo Civic Theatre

July 19, 2007|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

MARTINSBURG W.Va. -Two years ago, producer Jaime Donegan was at a New York casting call when a man he described as "big, buff and bald" started walking toward him.

The man asked Donegan if he was Jaime Donegan before throwing his arms around Donegan, lifting him from the ground and smiling.

"You were my first director, at the Apollo," the stranger told Donegan. "You're the one who introduced me to Shakespeare."

This is how Donegan really knew he made a difference as a director years ago at Apollo Civic Theatre's Youth Summer Theatre Workshop, the theater's six-week program for aspiring youth actors.

Donegan, who now lives in Philadelphia, directed youth workshop productions in 1985 and 1986. The big, buff and bald guy was Khris Lewin, one of Donegan's students who is now a Shakespearean actor.


"Sometimes you have such a great influence on somebody, and you don't even realize it," said Donegan.

The youth workshop turns 25 this year, and the theater is celebrating.

Donegan and another former workshop director, Cecilia Parker of Chambersburg, Pa., will host a free musical revue Saturday at the Martinsburg Roundhouse Center. Workshop alumni and a few of its current participants will perform songs from each of the workshop's annual productions.

On Friday, there's Taste of the Theatre, a semiformal gala and reception at the Historic Shenandoah Hotel. Tickets for the event cost $25.

Also, "Guys and Dolls" opens Thursday, July 26, and closes Sunday, July 29.

The Apollo's youth workshop puts on a play each summer. This year's production, "Guys and Dolls," is the same one included in the workshop 25 years ago, said Judy Malone, theater publicity chairwoman.

The workshop is open to any student between the age of 9 and 19 who pays the $150 fee, Malone said.

"They start off not even knowing the script, and six weeks later they'll put on a show that will knock your socks off," Malone said.

If you go ...

WHAT: Taste of the Theatre

WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, July 20

WHERE: Historic Shenandoah Hotel, 100 W. Martin St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

COST: $25, available in advance or at the door

MORE: For tickets and other information call Howie Lore, 304-262-0118, or call the Apollo Civic Theatre box office, 304-263-6766.

WHAT: Youth Summer Gala Revue at the Roundhouse

WHEN: 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 21

WHERE: Martinsburg Roundhouse Center, 100 E. Liberty St., Martinsburg

COST: Free

MORE: For tickets and other information call 304-262-0118.

WHAT: "Guys and Dolls"

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, through Saturday, July 28; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29

WHERE: Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 E. Martin St., Martinsburg

COST: For information, visit

MORE: For more information, call 304-263-6766

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