Summer Theater for Kids
Come see us in July!
Rehearsals for The Bear Prince, or El Principe Oso are going on now.
Come see the performances in July!
July 6, 7, 8 at 6 PM outside of Rice Auditorium on the Western Oregon University campus. (Knox and Jackson streets)
July 5 at 6 PM, Dress Rehearsal open to the public.
When: June 30, July 1 & 2, 2022, at 6 PM
Where: Western Oregon University Outdoor Amphitheater
Apple Box Children’s Theater (ABC) is a community theater that provides an affordable venue to put every child—regardless of race, creed, gender, or ability—on stage in order to boost their confidence, enhance teamwork skills, and build responsibility and accountability in their characters.
Apple Box Theater is proud to partner with Western Oregon University and Central High School to provide educational opportunities that last beyond the performances. Students at CHS and WOU gain practical experience running a show while participating. The resources, including people, shared between the three create a stronger and more sustainable community around theater in Monmouth/Independence.
Our history and purpose
Started by WOU (then called Oregon College of Education) professor Bob Page in the 1970's, Apple Box Children's Theater was re-established in his memory by Rob and Barbara Harriman in 2010. It was a labor of love for them, and relied entirely on volunteers to run. In 2020, Apple Box established a partnership with Central High School and Western Oregon University which leverages the CTE path at CHS with the Theatre Education program at WOU. While the need for volunteers will never cease, this partnership provides a path to move forward in a more sustainable fashion, while providing valuable experience to students in both programs.
The purpose of Apple Box Children's Theater is primarily to have fun! Added benefits are that children gain confidence and develop their abilities to work on a team, as well as learn about the history of theater, classic literature, and what it takes to put a production on.
Costs and Donations
Our program is free. It is funded primarily by a grant from the Polk County Cultural Coalition and by donations. Costumes, props, and all of the training is provided. Typically, a water bottle and shoes to wear during the performances (often brown sandals or boots) are the only thing you will need to provide for your child. T-shirt purchases and contributions towards the cast party are optional.
We are funded by grants and donations. Now we accept donations year-round!
Go to: http://www.wou.edu/give or click the QR code below.
Please note in the “Other designation” box that your gift is for "Apple Box Children's Theater."
Apple Box does not have any paid staff and relies entirely on volunteers to run. Because we want to keep our program free, we ask families to help with the production of the play.
This year we ask for a 10 hour minimum service commitment, or a donation of $50. We know that families vary in the flexibility they have to help, but ask that you try to contribute to the extent you can. Please let us know if there is a hardship, and we will work around it.
Here are some ways we need help:
Pizza & Cast/Strike party
For descriptions of what these entail, see this document.
What to expect during the experience
Auditions for our early July performance are typically held in April. During the auditions, kids will be asked to participate in group activities that help us get to know their personalities and read lines from a scene in the play. A few days later, the cast will be announced. We try to make it possible for everyone who wants to have a part to get one. All kids can participate in Apple Box.
Rehearsals begin in May and take place a few nights a week and on Saturday mornings. Most folks will not have to attend every rehearsal until school is over in June.
There will be one or more Saturday work parties in May/June, during which families and performers help build the set, props, and work on costumes.
Once school ends, we are just a few weeks away from our performance! Rehearsals move to a nightly schedule (week nights) and continue on Saturdays.
Depending on our performance dates, Apple Box sometimes participates in the Fourth of July parade in Monmouth.
Typically we perform the play on three evenings (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and we sometimes include a Saturday matinee. The week of the performances there will be at least one full dress rehearsal and earlier call times all week.