Sunday, November 12, 2017

Get in Character... Shoes


1) Deadline for shoes - students should wear the dance shoes at auditions. 

2)There will NOT be a group shoe order; it is just to hard to get all the sizing right.  Please handle your shoe needs individually.

3) Recommendations for local shoe vendors:

  • Onstage Dancewear (in Carriage Square, approx 4100 S and Redwood) gives a 15% discount and has some discounted jazz shoes in stock.  See Andrea's facebook live videos for more detail
  • Wright Costumes (State Street) has a wide selection but no discount
  • Pat's Dancewear (Bountiful) has many brands
4) If you plan to purchase online, do it soon so you have time to handle any sizing issues.

5) Shoe exchange: join the Facebook group ( if you have shoes to exchange.  You set the terms (buy, sell, rent, trade, lend, etc).  I don't really plan to facilitate those exchanges beyond providing the online space.

6) Tap shoes: don't stress that yet.


To help you prepare for your non-EYT theatrical experience, EYT is standardizing the shoe requirements.

This could make a great Christmas present for your EYT student!

All  FULL DAY students will need to own black character shoes.
Image result for character shoes  Image result for mens character shoes

All HALF DAY students will need a split-soled jazz shoe (leather or faux leather).

Image result for split sole jazz shoes leather

We will also host a shoe exchange for those who own (but have outgrown) dance shoes.

Hopefully this new policy will reduce stress to students, parents, and production staff!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

2018 Show Announcement

Who are we?  EYT!  And we are ready to take on a whole new sort of production in 2018.  You may want to strongly consider asking for tap lessons for Christmas!

Thanks to our very own Elnora Brunson for the incredible 2018 artwork!  I love to see the contributions of EYT all over the theater!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Empy Nominations

The Empress Theatre likes to recognize the efforts and talents of outstanding individuals whose contributions create the excellent shows you see all season.  Each year, EYT gets to select four individuals to receive the honor of an Empy.

This year's nominees are:

The winners will be announced at the annual fundraising gala on August 26th.  Tickets cost $25, which allows to enjoy dinner, entertainment, and a chance to be the first to know the 2018 season.  This year, the gala committee has asked attendees to dress as their favorite musical characters.  Think "Broadway Cosplay."  

Congratulations to all those nominated!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Final Week: Here we go!


  • Full day kids will be in full costume at some point during the day.  
  • No special hair or makeup necessary.  
  • After this point, full day kids will practice in costume every day.


  • Half day kids will wear their pre-show costume including shoes to the theater
  • They should bring their group shirt and accessories in a container with a closing lid to be left upstairs until closing night.
  • No special hair or makeup necessary.
Wednesday: MAKE UP 
  • Full day kids will need to have makeup on by the end of the half-day pre-show.  Dressing rooms will be available at 8:30 a.m.
  • Half day BARNYARD BIRDS should arrive with all makeup done except their eye feathers.
  • Half day SNOW and FROGS should arrive with basic makeup done but will have time to complete their character details (green lipstick, glitter, etc) after the run of the pre-show
Thursday: HAIR, MAKE-UP, and ALL
  • Follow the same guidelines as Wednesday, except students should arrive with their hair done.  Details about half day hair will be shared on TUESDAY.
  • Cast pictures will be taken promptly beginning at 9:00 a.m.  
  • All students must be in the theater in the blue seats with hair and makeup completed by 9:00 a.m.  They will be photographed in full character makeup.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Matinee Rundown

On each of the matinee days, call time will be as follows:

12:30 pm - Full Day Call
1:00 pm - Half Day Call

Our show starts at 2:00 pm and should be done between 3:30 and 4:00.  Anyone who wants to take their kids home after that most certainly may!  Call times for the evening show are:

6:00 pm - Full Day Call
6:30 pm - Half Day Call


They can stay for some matinee day fun.  Families are invited to join in as well!  All matinee events will take place at the theater.  RSVP is required so I can plan for food.

July 29th
4:30 pm - Mac'n'Cheese, Chicken Strips, and Dessert, $8.00 a plate for EYT kids and families
5:00 pm - On the Spot Comedy Improv show

August 5th
4:30 pm - Jimmy Johns sandwich and chips pack, $5.00 each for EYT kids and families
5:00 pm - EYT Variety Show (organized by Trevor and Tristen Tharp)

August 12th
4:30 pm - Pizza and Potluck, FREE - THIS IS OUR CAST PARTY!
5:00 pm - Awards and such

I will be collecting money (cash only) for the 29th and 5th.  You will receive a wristband for each dinner you purchase, and you will not be able to get your dinner without that wrist band.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Final Friday (Producer's Preview and Opening Night)

9:00 a.m. - Cast Photos
Our wonderful cast photographer Deanne Jones will be at the theater on Friday, July 28th to take still cast photos and to take production photos during our final rehearsal.  Her camera will begin clicking right at 9:00 am.  Students will need to be in full costume and makeup and in the building no later than 8:50 that morning.  Deanne sells a CD of all her photos for $5 each.  Look for more information about that soon.

10:00 a.m. - Producer's Preview
At the Empress Theatre, we invite the members of the resident staff and the board to attend the final dress rehearsal.  This is traditionally referred to as "Producer's Preview."  As the show's producer, I consider this to be my chance to show off our hard work to the people who make it all possible.  For most shows, this takes place during an evening rehearsal.  Since we don't have an evening rehearsal, we invite these individuals to our final Friday morning rehearsal.  Producer's Preview is by invitation only and is not open to the public, patrons, or even parents.

12:00 p.m. - Closing Ceremonies
Jacqueline will give final notes, the interns will make a special presentation to the board, and the production staff will end with a bit of fun.  Half day students will be ready for pickup at 12:30 as usual.

12:30 p.m. - Full Day Final Lunch (optional)
Full day students may either leave with their half day siblings or stay for a final full day lunch.  Jimmy Johns will be using the students who stay to taste test options for the Jimmy Johns sandwich event on August 5th.

2:00 - All full day students leave the theater no later than 2:00 to go home, get a little rest, and gear up for opening night.

6:00 - Call time for full day students (arrive in street clothing)
6:30 - Call time for half day students (arrive in costume)

9:30? - Head to Village Inn for the opening night social.  Half day students will want to make a plan to change their clothing.  However, we do not have the space for this to happen at the theater.

Midnight - GO TO BED!

Makeup Information

Please read ALL of the makeup information and take special note that students need to BRING THEIR MAKEUP to theater on Wednesday and Thursday for workshops.  Those who paid the no hassle fee will only need to send a foundation with your student (we can't buy that en mass and have it match the faces).  

All information comes directly from Jamie Victor, our makeup designer.  She will be available at the theater during workshops on Wednesday and Thursday to answer questions.  

A couple of notes for parents and students.

Boys of any part are not wearing lip color- this is a girls only feature for this show.

 For full time girls only Fish, Swans and Grace are required to wear fake lashes but ladies they look amazing on stage so consider wearing lashes.

 Both half day and full day boys need mascara if they are fair haired- only apply on top lashes. Dark hair and lashed boys do not need mascara for this show.

The students will be learning how to apply and what their makeup should look like on Wednesday. Half day students will be learning both Wednesday and Thursday to make sure they can apply their own makeup. With their make up make sure they have a makeup brush to apply it and make up wipes.

Please don't share eye makeup--- it shares nasty germs. There are many sources to get mascara and liners for very reasonable price.

All half day kids that have been listed as barnyard animals or birds will follow the instructions for the chickens.

Foundation may be worn at your discretion. It is encouraged on older students that need to smooth out their complexion. Please cover any red marks or bruises.

For the sake of hair, makeup, and costumes (and cast mates) please ensure you student is frequently bathing, washing their faces, brushing teeth and wearing deodorant if needed. (usually 11 and up need it)

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Black Liner
Duck Shadow-see FB post
orange lip-see FB post (girls only)

Black Liner
Black/White Shadow
red lip (girls only)
lashes (girls only)

Black Liner
Forest Green Shadow
Green lip-see FB post (girls only)

Silver Shadow
Blizzard Shadow- see FB post (girls only)
Blue lip (girls only)

Brown Liner
light brown/darker brown shadows
red lip (girls only)

Brown/Copper/Redish Shadows
Brown Liner
Dark Red Lip (girls only)

Black liner
Black/White/Brown shadows
Black lip (girls only)

see purchased kit

Blue Jay:
Black liner
Royal Blue Shadow

see purchased kit

Black liner
Blue/Green/Purple Shadows
(a piece of fish net to help create the look)
glitter or maybe glue on jewels
blue/green glitter lips (color shifting would be awesome!)
huge lashes

Brown Eye Liner
Brown Shadow

Greyish Blue/Brown Shadows
Brown Liner
Black Li[p (girls only)

Black liner
white shadow

see frogs
add a lighter green shadow to that list for you as well

Med and dark brown shadow

Boy/Girl Voice:
no specific makeup since you are off stage

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Introducing Melina

I met Melina back in 2012 when she enrolled as a brand new EYT student, blew us away at auditions, and ended up as our leading lady (Belle) in Beauty and the Beast, Jr.  She struck me then as committed and organized, seeming significantly more mature than her early teen years indicated.

I got to share the stage with Melina early in 2016, sharing a dressing room and talking way too much about the eerie similarities between our personalities.  We jokingly established that we are the same person, and decided it was best that we are a full 18 years apart in age so that no one generation had to put up with both of us.

When Melina applied to be an intern this year for EYT, she actually applied to work with Ty doing marketing.  However, I saw her application and called dibs on this hard-working young woman.  I have watched her through the years manage to graduate high school a year early, successfully balance work, theater, and school, and maintain a social media profile that conveys professionalism and dedication.  I knew I wanted a chance to work directly with Melina.

A few fun excerpts from her intern application (with spelling edited as that is not her strength) include:

  • I have taken a financial literacy class, and I have gotten good at budgeting and saving my own money.
  • I am planning on majoring in musical theatre at Weber State University and I optimistically anticipate sitting on a board for a theatre in the not so distant future as it is one of my long term goals. 
As I get the incredible opportunity to fit seven performances of Little Shop of Horrors (in Idaho!) into the busy EYT schedule, I am fortunate to have full confidence in considering my intern to be less of an intern and more of a partner - a peer.  I will not be at EYT on Thursday or Friday of week 1 or on Tuesday and Wednesday of week 2.  I will also be very difficult to communicate with on each of the upcoming weekends.  On these dates, please consider Melina to be the equivalent of double-cast.  We are both playing the role of producer equally!  Send her any questions you would have directed to me, and she will get you taken care of.

I hope you all enjoy working with Melina as much as I always have.  And learn this girl's name.  She is going places!  

Melina Wrathall (Producer Intern) - Melina has been participating in Empress productions since she was eight years old. Some of her favorite roles include Annie in Annie, Brigitta in The Sound Of Music, Jojo in Seussical, and Belle in Beauty and The Beast. However, her favorite experiences connected to the theatre have been, undoubtedly, the ones regarding the EYT program. And now she is back to be an intern and is loving every minute of it. She is grateful for the internship program that has allowed her to learn knew things revolving around theatre, as she hopes her life can revolve around theatre forever 😉 .

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday 7/10

Alright yesterday was the first day of EYT!  I hope your kids had a ton of fun, I know the staff did. The workshops were super fun to attend; everyone learned about rhythms and all the dynamics that make up a good story.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Assigning Shadows

Each full day student has been assigned one or two half day kids to look out for and to get to know.  Try to look at the picture of your shadow before rehearsal on Monday so you know who to look for!

AJ - Alex
Angelina - Wendy
Annie – Gabi, Blake
Blake – Kayleigh
Brayden - Easton
Caitlin - Kathryn
Carson - Chloe
Celia – Brody, Kortnee
Christian – Gabe
Clara - Jenella
David - Isaac
Edlena - Phebe
Gracie - Ina
Jayden - Kalilea
Kaelia - Aaron
Kamryn - Abigail
Katie – Hannah
Kira – Gweny, Emmalee
Maddie – Sammy, Gideon
Madeline - Sage
Max - Carson
McKenna - Anaïs
Nora – Palmer
Rilee - Beyah
Samuel - Haley
Savannah – Janet, Hailey
Skyler B - Savvy
Skyler R – Blake, Lilly
Sophia - Lincoln
Travis – Albert
Trevor - Dylan

Tristen – Daniel, Michelle

Friday, July 7, 2017

No Worry Fee (PART 2)

If you choose the $50 NO WORRY FEE, it must be paid by Saturday, July 8th at midnight.

The following families already paid the NO WORRY fee to cover the costume and makeup items we would traditionally ask you to provide for yourselves.
Adams, Berg, Bogue, Curfew, Farnsworth, Fife, Flores, Goodfellow, Hancock, Nelson, Le, Pollock, Purdy, Richardson, Tuero, Tuttle, Vuki, Waldrop.

Many full day students need the same "base costume" as the half day students in addition to the costume they will receive for their named role.  See the lists below to determine which base(s) are needed.  Ask Ty before buying shoes; you will likely only need one pair for the whole show.

Full Day Barnyard Birds (orange or yellow shirt and socks/leggings, see Ty for shoe info)AJ, Brayden, Christian, Blake, Mckenna, Katie, Kamryn, Savannah, Celia, Annie
Full Day Frogs (green shirt and socks/leggings, see Ty for shoe info)David, Trevor, Angelina, Caitlin, Rilee
Full Day Blizzard (white dance tights, see Ty for shoe info)McKenna, Katie, Kira, Angelina, Caitlin, Rilee, Annie, Madeline

Information for your named role is too individual to post.  Ty will let full day students know of any items needed from home.

Cast List Revealed

Congratulations to our 2017 Honk, Jr. Cast!

Look for more information including links to the NO WORRY costume fee and other stuff throughout the weekend.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Car Wash Tickets

Only two more days until the EYT car wash!  If you still need to sell tickets to pay your parents back for your tuition, just download these and print them.  You just collect the cash or checks for yourself, since your parents already paid the Empress.  I hope to see lots of you on Saturday!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Half Day Base Costumes (And Worry Free Reminder)

As a reminder, EYT students are required to provide what we call a "base" costume.  Our costume team will add additional items to this base to create each costume.  For half day students the base costume is easy to explain up front, and I have included that information here.  For full day students, we cannot set each base costume until casting is complete.  However, each full day student will receive a list of required items within a few days of casting, and those items will be similar in style and price to those featured on the half day list.

This year, we have introduced a new option: the WORRY FREE fee.  Families who opt for this option do not need to worry at all about the items listed as the base costume.  These will be provided, and they will belong to your student after closing night.

Choosing the WORRY FREE option means:

  • less time spent trying to decipher the expectations
  • less time spent checking prices and combing thrift stores
  • freedom to ignore the costume deadline
I have tried to price it appropriately to come very close to what you would pay if you were doing the work on your own.  However, it is definitely possible to spend less than the $50 if you shop carefully or already own some of the items.

The WORRY FREE fee has to be paid at auditions so we can start shopping.  If you do not opt for this additional charge, your family will be responsible to bring all the listed items on July 18th to be approved by our costumer, Ty.

If you want to take care of your WORRY FREE fee now, the link is here:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Half Day Groups

Hopefully everyone paid attention to the check mark on the registration that indicated a bit of a change to the half day program this year.  The intention behind this change is to provide increased opportunities for our production staff to teach our half day kids excellent vocal and dance technique. 

To give them more chances to shine, we have added a pre-show to be performed completely by the half day groups.  If you are interested in starting to listen to some of the music we will be doing in the pre-show, take a look!  

Of course, you won't know the half day group placement until the cast list is released after auditions. 

Barnyard Birds (Approximately 20 kids)
  • PRE-SHOW: Get on your Feet
  • PRE-SHOW: The Peanuts Movie Medley
  • PRE-SHOW: Turn the World Around
  • HONK - A Poultry Tale
  • HONK - Look at Him Reprise
  • HONK - Warts and All Reprise

Froglets (Approximately 10 kids)
  • PRE-SHOW: Get on your Feet
  • PRE-SHOW: Turn the World Around
  • PRE-SHOW: The Peanuts Movie Medley
  • PRE-SHOW: Can’t Stop the Feeling
  • HONK - Warts and All
  • HONK - Look at Him Reprise
  • HONK - Warts and All Reprise

Snow (Approximately 10 kids)
  • PRE-SHOW: Get on your Feet
  • PRE-SHOW: Turn the World Around
  • PRE-SHOW: The Peanuts Movie Medley
  • PRE-SHOW: Can’t Stop the Feeling
  • HONK - Blizzard
  • HONK - Transformation
  • HONK - Look at Him Reprise
  • HONK - Warts and All Reprise

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Parade Rehearsals

For those of you planning to participate in the completely optional Magna 4th of July Parade:

Rehearsals will be held on Mondays for four weeks.  Sorry about the early time; I am super busy this summer!  In order to participate in the parade, you need to attend two rehearsals.  Feel free to attend them all!  Interns not performing in the show are welcome as well.

Monday, June 12th - 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Monday, June 19th - 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Monday, June 26th - 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Monday, July 3rd - 9:00 am to 10:30 am

See you soon!


You've been asking, and I finally have the answer:

We will be taking a promotional photo of your student at auditions.  Each student should arrive photo ready from about the shoulders up!  Everyone will also be expected to dance, so auditioners should consider their ability to move and appropriate footwear when selecting audition attire.

Half Day Auditioners:

  • 30-45 seconds of a song in the style of the show
    (bring a minus track or your own accompanist; no a capella singing!
  • Be prepared to learn a dance
    (appropriate footwear is a must; no bare feet)
Full Day Auditioners:
  • 30-45 seconds of a song in the style of the show
    (bring a minus track or your own accompanist; no a capella singing!
  • 60 second comedic monologue to show your character
    (do not prepare more than 60 seconds; do not prepare a dramatic monologue)
  • Be prepared to learn a dance
    (appropriate footwear is a must; no bare feet)

Did You Know...?
Andrea is available as a resource for audition prep.  If you need a minus track recorded or cut or just a little advice on your song, don't hesitate to contact me!  

Audition Schedule

Saturday, April 15, 2017


General Registration for EYT is now open!  I currently have space in the program for:

Boys (2nd-4th Grade): 4 available spaces
Girls (2nd-4th Grade): 5 available spaces
Boys (5th-6th Grade): 8 available spaces
Girls (5th-6th Grade): 5 available spaces

Boys (7th-9th Grade): 2 available spaces
Girls (7th-9th Grade): 1 to 3 available spaces
Boys (10th-12th Grade): 3 to 5 available spaces
Girls (10th-12th Grade): 6 to 8 available spaces

Even if there is no availability in your age group, go ahead and register.  A spot may open later, and you can get your name on the waiting list.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Priority Registration is for returning EYT students and their siblings only.

If this does not apply to you, take note that general registration will open on April 15th at 8:00 a.m.  
You will likely want to set an alarm and apply immediately to increase your chances of getting a spot in this year's program!

2017 Interns

In my Timehop today, I was greeted by a cheery picture of our first-ever EYT Youth Council.  Back in 2012, we had a four-member council to provide leadership to new and returning EYT students.  Of course, back in 2012 we also did not have a resident staff at the Empress or the producer position, or much of the progress I have watched unfold in the last five years.  This picture made me particularly proud of two things:

1) Our very first EYT Council President, Perry S. Whitehair, has just accepted a paid position on this year's production staff as Assistant Director.  Watching Perry combine his EYT experience with his ongoing education to bring it back and impact the next generation is, for me, what EYT is all about.

2) The new and improved version of the youth council - the internship program - is now staffed with 13 interns ready to learn how to someday run the theater.  When members of the Empress Resident Staff asked me the purpose of the internship program, I explained that in 10 or 15 or 20 years when we are all old and tired, it is these EYT kids who will take our places.  How awesome would it be to get to train them to carry on the traditions we have worked so hard to establish.

Without further ado, I announce to you the very first generation of EYT interns:

Executive Director Intern: Travis Hymas | Mentor: David Sullivan
Producer Intern: Melina Wrathall | Mentor: Andrea K. Fife
Director Intern: Kimberly Childs | Mentor: Jacqueline Vuki
Music Director Intern: Annie Hancock | Mentor: Cassidy Ellenberger
Choreography Intern: McKenna Holgerson | Mentor: Jacqueline Vuki
Stage Manager Intern: Adam Fife | Mentor: Andrea K. Fife
Properties Intern: Gracie Lopez | Mentor: Justina Spencer
Costume Intern: Shelby Oveson | Mentor: Ty Whiting
Set Design Intern: Jacob Murphy | Mentor: Logan Gifford
Set Painting Intern: Elnora Brunson | Mentor: Ehlana Gifford
Lighting Intern: Sylas Fordham | Mentor: Tanner Lindsay
Sound Intern: Keegan Dial | Mentor: Tanner Lindsay
Marketing Intern: Bryce Fordham | Mentor: Ty Whiting

Thank you to all who applied.  We are honored to be able to make a lasting impact through this program.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

EYT Intern Program

ALL NEW IN 2017:

This year the Youth Production Staff is replacing the Youth Council as the program's leadership training component.  EYT interns will work side-by-side with the production staff as the Youth Production Staff, making fundamental decisions regarding design and implementation throughout the program and the production.  Anyone ages 12-21 is eligible to apply for an internship.  Prior EYT involvement is not required.


We are filling up to 13 intern positions under 9 mentors this summer.

Jacqueline will be training two interns: director and choreographer.
Andrea will be training two interns: producer and stage manager
Tanner will be training two interns: lighting design and sound tech
Ty will be training two interns: costume design and marketing
Logan will be training one intern: set design
Ehlana will be training one intern: set painting
Justina will be training one intern: properties
TBA will be training one intern: assistant director
Cassidy will be training one intern: music director

Some intern positions absolutely CANNOT perform in this summer's production of HONK:
Producer | Stage Manager | Lights | Sound | Costumes | Set

Other positions may be able to intern while also preparing to perform at the final discretion of the mentor:
Director | Choreographer | Marketing | Set Painting | Assistant Director | Music Director

Interns will have full access to the educational workshops provided in the EYT program.  Interns will need to pay the $15 EYT registration fee but will not need to pay any tuition.

Send questions to Andrea at