July 8, 2011 10:11:00 PM
In honor of the final space shuttle flight this month, Mississippi State University''s Summer Scholars Onstage camp has centered their 2011 musical production around the theme of space travel.
"2011: A Space Oddity," a comedic look at the topic, will be presented Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 23, at 1 p.m. in McComas Hall Theater on the university campus. Admission is free to the public.
In three acts, the musical will showcase early cultural ideas of what space travel might be like, as seen in the fantastical Buck Rogers movie serials of the 1940s. This is contrasted with the real-life rocket craze surrounding the early days of NASA in the 1960s, as seen in Act II.
Act III will provide a look at the cash-strapped space program of modern day, noting how space travel itself is being contracted to private industry.
Music for the show spans a wide range of styles from the1940s to present. Local music is represented, too, with a song by John Brocato (of Skeleton Crew and The Persians fame). Brocato''s daughter, Bailey, is a camp participant. David Bowie''s song, "Space Oddity," is also naturally included.
Let''s put on a show
Summer Scholars Onstage presents two consecutive camps for junior and senior high students each summer. Twenty-two campers in the first week -- Writers Camp -- form the core group that creates, plots, scripts and chooses music for the show. They are aided by a team of experienced writers and musicians, often composed of former campers, both college-aged and beyond.
The remaining 30 campers arrive at the end of the first week, for a two-week production camp. During this portion, dancing, choir and acting classes are added to the daily schedule as campers prepare to audition for 52 roles in "2011: "A Space Oddity," the camp''s 30th production since its inception in 1982.
To learn more about Summer Scholars Onstage, visit summerscholarsonstage.msstate.edu.
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