We wait offstage with bated breath in the darkened wings. We can hear the murmur of the audience settling into their seats as we straighten our costumes and await our cues. More than eighty members of the cast and crew anxiously listen for the downbeat of the orchestra’s overture. As the main curtain rises, the lights go up and warm our carefully painted faces. Four months of hard work have led to this moment - StarStruck Theatre’s opening night! Whether a seasoned stage veteran or a first-time performer, the excitement of our first performance is always the same.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been at StarStruck for six years or one - you are welcomed into one big theater family here. There’s always someone to lend a hand and help you adjust your costume or teach you how to fix your makeup. Even when everyone is exhausted at the end of tech week and after we’ve been in the theater for 5-10 hours per day for dress rehearsals, the friends that surround you still make you smile as you pack up to go home for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
Ask any of the cast, and they’ll tell you that StarStruck is like a home away from home to them...a second family. In fact, the cast gets to be such good friends during the show, that it's hard for us to tear ourselves away from each other after closing night and wait for the next show to begin.
Now in its 18th year under the direction of Lori Stokes, many kids have practically grown up on stage at StarStruck together. Lori, and her dedicated team of choreographers, acting coaches, musical and technical directors deliver performances of the highest quality and bring out the best from every student who walks through their door. They create an environment that is so supportive, encouraging and caring - it's amazing - and it shows through each of the performers on stage in fabulous performances year after year.
StarStruck is Fremont’s hidden treasure - our very own ‘performing arts school’ for kids and teens that is on par with the best youth theater companies in California. Our cast members usually range in age from 10-18, with most of our lead performers still in junior high and high school. And, it’s one of the few who perform with a live orchestra. The comment that we always hear from audience members as they come out of their first StarStruck performance is, “I can’t believe that those were KIDS on that stage!” and, “I’m going to come back and see that again and bring my friends!”
If you don’t have a child in theater or a friend who has performed with StarStruck Theatre, you might not even be aware that we have such a wonderful youth theater company right here in Fremont. But, the word has gotten out, and many of our cast members commute in for rehearsals 4 or 5 times per week from as far away as Livermore, San Ramon and San Jose to perform with StarStruck...yes, it’s that good!
So, if you haven’t been to one of our shows before, treat yourself to one of our upcoming performances of StarStruck’s “A Little Princess” - which opens this weekend and runs Jan 11th through 27th at the Ohlone College Smith Center. It is a brand new musical, written by Andrew Lippa, and based on the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. StarStruck is the first youth theatre company to premiere this exciting work on the west coast. And if you have seen one of our performances before, you already know that you are in for a treat! Hope to see you at the show!
8th grader and 2nd year StarStruck performer