The Abbeville Opera House Rising Stars Summer Theatre Project


Kathy Genevie, Lisa McConnell and Kaitlyn Crocker

We will teach your child exciting lessons designed to inspire their creativity, build self-confidence, and ignite their imagination. This camp is geared toward theatre, fun and friends. We will teach your child through age appropriate lessons designed to inspire their creativity and ignite their imaginations. Explore the wonder of imagination. Learn the essential tools of the actor's trade.

THE JUNGLE BOOK (Performance)

August 2, 3, 4

The Rising Stars Summer Theatre project will culminate with performances of THE JUNGLE BOOK on August 2, 3, 4 featuring a talented cast of more than 50 "Rising Stars." Come hear the incredible tale of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves. With the help of his friends, Mowgli learns the ways of the jungle. This faithful Opera House adaptation, directed by Kathy Genevie, Kaitlyn Crocker and Lisa McConnell, will enchant you and have you cheering when Mowgli declares, "I am Mowgli, Keeper of the Law and Guardian of the Jungle!" Make you reservations now!

A no cost Summer Theatre project at the Abbeville Opera House

What makes the RISING STARS SUMMER THEATRE PROJECT so different?

What makes this Abbeville Opera House project unique is the cost for this summer theater project has been underwritten by theater lovers who contributed to a GoFundMe page established by Kathy Genevie for youth theater.

Genevie, a longtime business manager for AOH and a past director for Opera House youth theater, created the GoFundMe page for her birthday in March. More than $3,000 has been raised.

“I wanted to do something for youth that they didn’t have to pay for,” Genevie said. “Everything kids do now, you have to pay for and I think that leaves out children sometimes. That was my birthday wish. I tried to raise $650 and ended up raising more than $3,000.”

Additional fundraising might be in the works this summer, Genevie said.

“We’re going to learn how to put a production together from the very beginning,” Genevie said. “We’re going to try and teach them how everything works.”

Working with Genevie on this are two experienced AOH actors — Kaitlyn Crocker, 16, and Lisa McConnell, who is a school teacher.

“We don’t judge here,” Genevie said. “I want to get your input on costumes and makeup.”

McConnell told the crowd during a sign-up event that one of the first stage skills they will learn is how to push their voices up and out, so people seated in the back of the theater can hear them as well as people on the front row.

May 7, upwards of 30 youths and adults filed into the Opera House to sign up to be a part of this no-cost youth theater effort. Some have been involved with theater before. For others, it’s a first.

“Those of you who signed up are already in the show or helping backstage,” McConnell said. “These auditions will be just to hear you read and see where you will best fit in the production.”

Levanah Reil, 15, of Honea Path, a 10th-grader at Dixie High School in Due West, said she jumped at this chance to try theater when a teacher told her about it.

“I want to be an actress when I grow up,” Reil said.

Reil’s dad, Ken, said this is a perfect opportunity for his daughter to learn about acting and have fun while doing it.

“If it’s something she’s really dedicated to, we will stick with it,” Ken said.

Carter Riddle, 8, of Abbeville is also a first-timer.

Carter’s dad, Joe Riddle, said it sounded like a good learning opportunity. “Carter just started in golf lessons and he’s involved with baseball and piano,” he said. “We just want him to be well-rounded.”

For some of the experienced youth actors taking part, acting is a chance to “be somebody totally different on stage,” said Kathryn Hanna, 11, who recently acted in the AOH production of “The Wind in the Willows.”


Abbeville Opera House Rising Stars Youth Theatre - 2018

Do you have a future actor or actress in your house? The Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre classes will cover basic acting principles and techniques along with theatre games, scene work, auditioning, voice and diction, and much more. The theatre courses are designed to prepare your child for his or her turn on the stage! Check out the following classes currently being offered.


Youth theatre can be a safe space in which young people can explore issues, take risks and test their emotional and physical boundaries.

What does youth theater do for a child?

Youth Theater... develops confidence, self discipline and self esteem helps kids learn to organize and prioritize increases the ability to converse with adults improves communication skills and develops teamwork skills broadens young people’s horizons through new experiences allows kids to be kids - having fun and being creative

Sign up NOW!