Take a trip back to the ’60s with 'Bye Bye Birdie'

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The Summer Theatre Program of St. Bernadette Church in Springfield and Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria presents "Bye Bye Birdie" July 23-25.

This classic musical takes you back to the '60s when rock 'n' roll teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie is drafted into the military. Before he heads overseas, Birdie will randomly pick a girl from his fan club to serenade and kiss on the Ed Sullivan Show for his grand goodbye. When Birdie chooses Kim MacAfee, a 15-year-old from Sweet Apple, Ohio, he shakes, rattles and rolls the town.

Co-director Andrew Curtin said they chose this musical because they wanted to do something fun this year.

"'Bye Bye Birdie' is a show about people trying to figure out who they really are. I don't think there's anything that better describes the teenage experience than trying to figure out who you are," said Curtin.

The Summer Theatre Program began in 1997 and has become a hallmark for the region's high school youths.

Co-director Tessa Theis said that the No. 1 focus of the program is not the productions, but instead on the community and the kids.

"We strive to empower and strengthen students' minds and hearts just as much as their skills, and I believe that this makes a huge difference in the energy that you see on the stage," said Theis.

Celebrating its 19th year, the program offers students of all skills, abilities, and experiences the opportunity to be a part of a theatrical production.

"STP is a program focused exclusively on high school students from throughout the region. This allows students to develop as a community with more than just shared interests, but a shared appreciation of the God-given gifts and talents each of them enjoys," said Bill Molino, one of the show's producers.

Molino added that the program at its roots is a ministry first and a production second.

This high-energy, fun musical stars a phenomenal group of teenagers from across the region and is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Performances run from July 23 through July 25 at 7:30 p.m., with one matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Find out more

summertheatreprogram.org

All performances are located at Bishop Ireton High School at 201 Cambridge Road, Alexandria, Va. 22314.

Raynor can be reached at lraynor@catholicherald.com

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015