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From Idaho to England

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Sandy Short takes her show on the road

    Sandy Short has directed and choreographed eight children’s plays touching the lives of hundreds of children of all ages. In addition to all the children’s theater she is an accomplished actress with several shows to her credit. She has studied dance for eight years, Jazz and Tap, as well as vocal music, piano and a little guitar. 
    Not a bad resume’ for most adults in North Idaho but Sandy is only two years out of High School. Since her graduation from Bonners Ferry High, she studied for two years at the University of the Ozarks.
    This spring the young thespian took some time off from school to prepare for an even bigger challenge. On the 28th of May, Sandy is leaving for London for six months. She is traveling on a special visa that will let her work and do workshops, and help her find jobs. “Any job with the British Academy of Film and Television will do,” she said.
    After six months Short will return to do a workshop in Bonners Ferry. Hopefully, before leaving England she will be accepted to study at the Gilford School of Acting. If this happens she will return to London. Gilford offers a one-year program to students who have completed two years of college. After only one year at Gilford the candidate will receive a Bachelors of Arts Degree in musical theater, or as they spell it in Merrie Olde England, theatre.
    Eight years ago Sandy started doing a children’s show with kids from the Bonners Ferry area. Each show has over 100 children in the cast.
    Sandy takes a known show, and adds some more songs and lots of dance and shortens it, if necessary, to about and hour and a half. The kids will range in age from 5 to 18. There will be some parents helping but Sandy does all the directing, choreographing and maintaining order.
    Part of order is in the study hall. This is where the young actors and actresses spend their time when not working on stage. Cast members must bring their homework to rehearsal. “I don’t want parents getting upset because their kid is doing a play rather than their homework,” she said. If kids don’t have homework then they work on their lines for the show.
    This year’s show was 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," with four shows between the 16th and 19th of May. Some of the kids have been in all eight shows.
    Other credits on Sandy’s extensive résumé’ is touring with the Continentals. This Christian touring company gave her international exposure as well as the experience of touring in nearly every state.
    After finishing school in England, a few years of working theater are in her plans. “I want the experience of professional theater,” she said. “But my real plans are to have a touring children’s theater. One where the kids play all the parts and we will only provide direction, dance and music.” She said 'we' because she understands it would not be a job for only one.
    Sandy is also going to send back articles to The River Journal about her experiences in London and London Theatre. That, of  course, will only happen if Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn’t discover her talents, work ethic and beauty, thus not giving her time to write for our paper. The editors of TRJ understand this risk.

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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