Completely Shaken Up

ECCT has an exciting couple of months ahead

Katelyn Hendren, photos by Andrea Paulseth

 Running at the end of July, the ECCT’s production of All Shook Up kicks off a summer and fall full of events, including an Eau Claire version of The Amazing Race.
Running at the end of July, the ECCT’s production of All Shook Up kicks off a summer
and fall full of events, including an Eau Claire version of The Amazing Race.

The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre is ready to rock and roll in their latest musical, “All Shook Up,” inspired by the book entitled All Shook Up by Joe DiPietro and featuring music from the King himself, Elvis. 

The play tells the story of Chad, a character that descends on a small town for a temporary job but winds up changing everything and everyone around him. “The play itself contains lots of dancing. The story is set in the 50’s and is a cross between Grease and Footloose. A rebel named Chad comes to a new town and shakes things up,” said Wayne Marek, Director of “All Shook Up.” The play features a cast of 33, ranging from high school students to those in their thirties. Katie Rapacz plays Natalie Haller, Jared Martin plays Chad, and Jay Grokowsky plays Jim Haller. The show features Elvis classics “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” as well as many others.

“My favorite thing about being a part of ECCT is that we perform
a variety of shows and every season and every show is different.
 It’s like having a new job every day.” – Eau Claire Children’s Theatre Executive Director Wayne Marek

During the summer, ECCT always performs a musical. When choosing a play this summer, ECCT aimed to find a high energy dance musical that is relatively new to the theatrical community. Auditions for All Shook Up were held at the end of May, and the cast of “All Shook Up” has been rehearsing since June 4. 

The ECCT is a nonprofit, volunteer-based community theater that provides theatrical experiences for those of all ages. “My favorite part of being a part of ECCT is that we perform a variety of shows and every season and every show is different. It’s like having a new job every day. I get to meet new people and personalities with every new show that the ECCT performs,” stated Marek. 

In addition to putting on performances, ECCT hosts many fundraising events. On August 4, ECCT will be putting on an event called “The Amazing Race,” based on the reality television show of the same name. Those participating in the event will be racing to complete physical and mental tasks around various checkpoints in the Chippewa Valley. The team that completes the events the fastest will be the winner. The three team categories include adult, corporate and family. Team costumes, group themes and creative team names are encouraged. The group that is most creative in these areas will be awarded a prize. Teams can go online to register and find out more information about the event. 

The ECCT also hosts a slew of annual events, including “Dancing with the Eau Claire Stars” and the “Harvest Hustle.” “The Harvest Hustle” is a fundraising event that will include a 2k fun walk/run, 10k road race and a half marathon, and will take place on September 29. 

The ECCT also offers a variety of summer classes for children who are interested. The classes range from acting lessons to voice lessons, all geared toward honing those performing skills crucial for musicals like “All Shook Up.” Later this summer, ECCT will be performing another musical: “Legally Blond: The Musical.”