Tuesday May 01 2012
Sister act bids adieu with 'Oklahoma' at Three Stages in Folsom
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
For a pair of singing and dancing Cameron Park sisters, ?Oklahoma? is their final curtain call in the region. Clara and Helen Regula have been in numerous El Dorado Musical Theatre productions over the years and their parents, Margaret and Stan, have been active volunteers behind the scenes with the organization. For the family, it?s a time of transition. ?Clara is a sophomore at local community colleges,? said Margaret, of her 19-year-old daughter who attends American River College and Sierra College. Helen, 17, is a senior at Ponderosa High School and will be attending Texas State University to pursue her bachelor of fine arts degree. For the parents, it?s also a time of change. ?We?ve done a little bit of everything that needs to be done,? Margaret said. ?I?m one of the ushers at Three Stages and I used to do concessions and there are so many parent volunteer opportunities (at the shows). ? Stan does a lot of moving the heavy sets and things like that. Every show, there is always something to do and always something that needs to be done. It?s very nice when you have a lot of parents doing it to help.? Clara, the oldest of the singing and dancing sisters, is still deciding which University of California campus to attend. She?s been in 11 shows with EDMT. ?I?m getting all my acceptance (letters) back and am trying to see where I?m going to go,? she said. ?I really am enjoying (the character of) Laurey in ?Oklahoma? and my second favorite would be Sandy in ?Grease.?? She said acting with her sister has allowed them to bond. ?It?s been so much fun doing shows with my sister,? Clara said. ?We?ve gotten a lot closer doing shows together. Our most common interest is musical theater. We have a better relationship and for that reason, I am forever grateful.? While she?s planning to transfer from American River College and Sierra College as a biology major, she hopes to land back on the stage. ?I want to get into the musical theater program once I?m there (at the UC),? she said. Does she have the acting bug? ?I?ve been bitten bad,? Clara said. The age ranges for actors at EDMT start at 6 and go up to 20. ?It?s a lot of fun working with the younger kids,? she said. ?I learn so much about them. It?s really an eye-opening experience. In high school, you?re always segregated into cliques like freshmen, sophomore, etc., but in musical theater, there are none. You all work together. It?s awesome.? Helen agrees. ?The younger kids are an absolute joy. They are so loving and wanting to know about everything. They are so curious. Being in high school, I?m always around older kids,? she said. ?It?s nice to get back to that innocence.? The acting bug has also bitten Helen. ?Once you do it, you just can?t stop,? she said. ?Opening night is always the best to get in front of an audience. The reaction from the audience is something that can never be explained because it?s so surreal.? They both credit Debbie Wilson, director and choreographer, with helping shape them into the people they are today. ?Debbie has really helped me the last couple of years, not even just acting and making me a better performer, but personal stuff,? Clara said. ?In my entire life, I don?t think I?ll ever meet someone else like Debbie. ? She?s changed my life. This whole theater experience has changed my life.? Helen said kids thinking about getting into musical theater should trust their instincts. ?My advice is to say, go with your gut. It?s taught me so much,? Helen said. ?The camaraderie it comes with and the absolute joy you get when you?re performing with your closest friends, is something most people never experience.? Helen said she?s going to miss her friends at El Dorado Musical Theatre. ?I think it?s just going to be more sad than anything,? she said of the final show. ?If you look closely, I?ll be crying.?