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The show is soon to go on at the restored California Theatre in Pittsburg, Calif. which is photographed on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. The opening gala will take place on Jan. 19 and tickets, priced at $150 per person, are still available for the event. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Staff)

PITTSBURG -- The Bay Area Children's Theatre will hold a two-week summer theater production camp in August at the newly restored California Theatre.

The program will teach children ages 7 through 14 years the fundamentals of putting on a play that will end with two performances of "Disney's Aladdin Jr.," a junior stage adaptation of the animated movie musical that tells the story of a rebellious princess, a scrappy street urchin and a magic lamp.

"Aladdin" is a great selection for a children's play, given that it has roles for children with lots of acting experience and those who have never been in a play, according to Nina Meehan, executive director of the Children's Theatre.

"It's very much an ensemble-focused show with everybody telling the story," she said.

The summer camp, which will take place weekdays from Aug. 5 through Aug. 16, also coincides with the closure of the Virginia J. Calisesi Studio Theatre in Antioch, though the Antioch Children's Theatre troupe is expected to revamp and later perform at other venues.

The Bay Area Children's Theatre was founded in 2004 by five arts educators. The Oakland-based nonprofit puts together after-school programs, classes and summer camps in San Ramon, Piedmont and Alameda to expose children to live theater and performing in professionally-produced plays.

This is the first time that the Children's Theatre has launched one of its events at an East County location.


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"We're really excited about serving a different community," said Meehan, adding that the California Theatre, which has seating for about 300, is a perfect venue.

"It's a good size but not overwhelming. It really lends itself well to children's performances," she said.

The summer camp is open to all, regardless of residency.

The fee is $200 for Pittsburg residents and $520 for non-residents. The $200 discounted price for Pittsburg residents was made possible by an anonymous financial contribution by a local business made through Supervisor Federal Glover's office.

"Giving back to their host communities and fostering good relations with the community — whether it comes in the form of July Fourth fireworks, swimming lessons, or the theater arts -- is a good business practice," Glover said.

The fee covers the cost of costumes, props and sets that are used in the play. So the only thing the kids have to bring is a lunch, Meehan said.

Maximum enrollment for the summer camp is 25, but she added if there is demand for enrollment beyond that number additional staff will be added and the enrollment cap will be increased to up to 35.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

PLAY TIME
What: A two-week summer theater camp for children ages 7 through 14 years
Where: California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays Aug. 5 through 16, with performances at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.
Cost: $200 for Pittsburg residents and $520 for non-Pittsburg residents
Registration: Pittsburg Senior Center, 300 Presidio Lane
Info: 925-252-4842