“The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Silly”
Pictured: George Gagliardi Singer/Songwriter and Camp Leader
Winnsboro, TX —- It’s a magical time again at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts (WCA) as over 30 young people in Marilee’Z KidZZ on Stage Drama Camp prepare an original musical production that will be presented Saturday, July 23 at 7:00pm and Sunday, July 24 at 2:00pm. As in years past, the campers write the songs and the script for their show and have a grand time doing so. “The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Silly” has four original songs. The theme song was written by George Gagliardi, a Dallas-based singer/songwriter, who then worked with the kids to write the other songs. This is the fourth year that George has come to Winnsboro to do the camp, and he says it is the highlight of his summer. “I enjoy this whole process so much,” George says. “Creating a whole show from nothing to something. The kids are great to work with and get so excited about a song and how we can write it in a short period of time.”
The process George uses to write the songs with the kids is to cover part of a wall with butcher paper, then sit with the kids and brainstorm ideas for the lyrics. One of the songs this year is about villains, so the kids came up with words and phrases that might work for a group of villains. When writing each song, the kids also decide on the rhythm and beat they want for their particular song, and then George writes the melody line, bringing the finished song in the next day for the kids to start learning.
Joining the camp leaders this year is Vivien Tagg, a professional actress, and former theater teacher. She’s a great addition to the creative team of George, Jennifer Zimmerman, former WISD Fourth Grade Music Teacher, and Cassia Rose, who just completed her two years as a theater student at North East Texas Community College. She is a long-time member of the WCA Young Players and made her directorial debut with the production of “Bonnie & Clyde in Winnsboro” this past spring. “Cassia has been a tremendous asset to the theater, starting about eight years ago when she walked into an audition for ‘Scrooge’,” says Maryann Miller, WCA Theater Director, and Camp Administrator. “Her talent was apparent the moment she took the stage, and I’m thrilled that she’s pursuing theater in college. I’m also thrilled that she is able to do the drama camp, and I’m happy that Vivien is part of it, too. She was amazing as Mrs. Cratchit in last December’s production of ‘Scrooge,’ and we are lucky to have her in Winnsboro.”
The success of the camp and the performances relies on the combined talents of the leaders and the kids, and each one brings something special to the mix. “Jennifer Zimmerman is a terrific teacher and she has a wonderful way of keeping order in the camp without dampening the creativity,” Miller says. “And her ability to help the kids learn the songs is truly an asset to the camp. I enjoy watching the whole team work together and make this magic happen for the kids.”
WCA relies on sponsors to pay the expenses for the camp, thus keeping the camp fee as low as possible. This year’s main sponsors are Marilee & Bill Russell, who bought naming rights for the camp; The Winnsboro Emporium; First National Bank of Winnsboro; Karla Chapman; Academic Solutions in Plano; Paul Miller; West Chevron, and Becky Pickett. We also received a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Tickets for the show – $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under – can be purchased in advance at the Winnsboro Emporium, 212 Market Street in Winnsboro or at the door on the days of the shows.