Arts and Entertainment

Bellevue teens take charge of producing musical

Teens involved with the musical Candyland Incorporated are (front row, from left) Jeren Young, Laura Vidale, Amanda Watson,; (back row, from left) Fiona Murray, Emma Petersky, Brianna Massie. - Photo by Chad Coleman/Bellevue Reporter
Teens involved with the musical Candyland Incorporated are (front row, from left) Jeren Young, Laura Vidale, Amanda Watson,; (back row, from left) Fiona Murray, Emma Petersky, Brianna Massie.
— image credit: Photo by Chad Coleman/Bellevue Reporter

For two nights in August, the stage at the Bellevue Youth Theatre will be transformed into a magical scene of colorful characters and energetic tunes performed by an all-youth cast.

The musical, Candyland Incorporated, will show at 7 p.m. on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 at the theater, 16661 Northup Way.

The production will shine a spotlight on the creative young minds behind the musical - from the story line, to the musical scores, technical roles and stage direction.

During a recent afternoon rehearsal, Interlake High School student Amanda Watson watched the production come to life as the cast practiced the music, written and composed by 18-year-old Ben Wipple. As the director of Candyland Incorporated, Watson has her work cut out for her. Rehearsals for the production began in early July and the curtain rises this weekend.

"I think we'll be ready," Watson said, while sitting with a group of crew and cast members. "Everyone here has worked really hard on this musical and it will show on opening night. We all share the same passion for the stage and that is what will make this a success."

Watson began writing the script for Candyland Incorporated back in May along with a small group of friends from the BYT. They met weekly at Crossroads Bellevue Mall, creating a story line about a game designer who gets lost in his own game and uncovers the real truth behind his role in the corporate world.

Cast members for Candyland Incorporated are made up of a dozen local teens who all share the spirit of acting.

"What is so great about this production is that we didn't hold auditions. We let anyone join who wanted to participate. We just happen to get a really talented group," said 16-year-old Brianna Massie, the music director and choreographer. "Everyone here plays a very important role in the overall production. We are all excited to see the final product."

The BYT provides opportunities in the performing arts for youth regardless of income or ability. The free youth performing arts program is run by volunteers and community support.

For productions such as Candyland Incorporated to be possible, the BYT reaches out to the community for donations and help with behind-the-scenes production including the sewing of costumes, ushering, building sets, mentoring youth, the handling of technical equipment, lighting and more.

"The BYT is a place we can all come and feel accepted by our peers and do something that we love," Watson said. "We have all worked so hard to bring this story to life, but we need the support of the community if we want to be able to put on more productions in the future."

Admission for Candyland Incorporated is by "pay what you can" donation. For tickets, call 425-452-7155.

Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425.453.4602.

To learn more about the Bellevue Youth Theatre, visit

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