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Teddy bears, cooks take to the stage

Hughes: Once they come, they always come back 

  • Press photos by Amie Johansen Brynn Roethler jumps as she exclaims “hooray, hooray, hooray,” as one of the closing lines of “Teddy Bear Heroes.”

  • Payton Hadley plays the Scout Trooper in “Teddy Bear Heroes.” Hadley will perform along with 15 others Friday morning as a close the week long drama camp.

By Amie Johansen |

This Friday roughly 30 third through eighth grade students will take to the stage at the Charles Theater. The Charles City Youth Theater, under the direction of Robin Krueger and Linda Hughes, was started in 1999.

According to Hughes, it began with retired teachers Virginia Tietz and Georgie Miller. At the time of its inception, a grant was written to pay professionals to take charge of the week long drama camp. In 2001, Hughes and Krueger were asked to take over.

The drama camp is divided into two age groups: third through fifth grades and sixth through eighth grades.

“‘Teddy Bear Heroes’ are the little kids,” Mckenna Oleson, CCHS freshman drama camp helper, said. “The older kids are (performing) ‘Too Many Cooks.’”

“We do all royalty free plays,” Krueger said.

“(Plays are chosen) based on the number of kids who signed up,” Oleson said. “They learn stage presence, projection, helps with memorization, builds skills.”

As drama camp veteran, Oleson speaks from experience of the benefits.

“Not only does it help with confidence, but I can talk in front of a ton of people,” Oleson said of her newfound skill set.

Oleson participated in the camp all six years she was eligible.

“Once they come, they always come back,” Hughes said.

The third through fifth graders will perform “Teddy Bear Heroes” at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, July 1. This play is about bullying and honoring our veterans.

The sixth through eighth graders will perform their play, “Too Many Cooks” after the younger production at 11:30 a.m. “Too Many Cooks” is about two sisters who own a restaurant. When their chef quits, they hire too many cooks and things get messy. The plays will be performed on the stage of the Charles Theater on Main Street.