SYV Star Staff Report

Almost every evening was sold out as the Arts Outreach Summer Youth Community Theater program presented “Annie Get Your Gun” in late July at the Little Theater at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.

Arts Outreach provides the summer opportunity for students to dive into live theater in an intensive four-week program. Students take lead roles, teach younger students, create friendships, learn new talents, and foster pride through acting, singing, and dancing.

In the musical, the rough-and-tumble Annie Oakley is the best shot around. A backwoods gal, Annie uses her skill to support her family by selling the game she hunts. When she’s discovered by Buffalo Bill and persuaded to join his Wild West Show, Annie is plucked from obscurity and becomes the toast of Europe.

Annie meets her match in Frank Butler, Buffalo Bill’s leading man and star marksman. She falls head over heels for Frank, but soon eclipses him as the main attraction in the show.

“Annie Get Your Gun” follows the journey of Annie and Frank, revealing their competitive natures as they vie for best-marksman honors — and each other’s hearts. This fictionalized version of the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her romance with Frank Butler boasts a score of Irving Berlin gems including “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “I Got Lost in His Arms,” “I Got the Sun in the Mornin,’” “Anything You Can Do,” and “They Say It’s Wonderful.”

Each summer, the cast has grown larger, with past students volunteering their time and talent to help the up-and-comers on their theatrical journey.

With a  mission to “bring life to art and art to life,” Arts Outreach is a nonprofit arts education organization that provides experiences in visual, dramatic, literary and performance art to the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos valleys.

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