VIDEO: Young Nanaimo Kismet Theatre actors star in Fame Jr.

Musical Fame Jr. premieres in Nanaimo at Harbour City Theatre on Friday (March 17).

Young actors from Kismet Theatre Academy star in Fame Jr.

Young actors from Kismet Theatre Academy star in Fame Jr.

Students gather with envelopes clasped in their hands hoping they contain acceptance letters.

Each one of them wants to get into the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York City. And as each one tears the envelope open and reads that they are accepted they shout out with excitement.

Young Nanaimo actors ran through the scenario several times Friday afternoon as they rehearsed for the musical Fame Jr. The show is being presented by Kismet Theatre Academy and premieres Friday (March 17). It’s directed by Bonnie Catterson with vocal direction by Jona Kristinsson.

Nine-year-old Keala Wayne Winterhalt, who plays two characters in Fame Jr., Joey and Serena Katz, said the actors are proud of the play and their work to bring it to the stage.

“We have been working our butts off and we think this play is going to turn out to be great,” said Wayne Winterhalt, adding that even though at times they have been “goofing around” they all have their serious side and have been working hard. “I think Fame is just the journey between a bunch of teenagers just trying to become rich and famous and it’s really fun and I love it.”

Anna Hill, 11, who plays Mabel Washington, said everyone should come see the play.

“I think everyone here thinks this is going to be totally awesome and every character is awesome,” she said. “What I like about this play is that everyone is like the main character. Every one is in almost every scene You should just come see it.”

Fame Jr. is a kid-friendly version of Fame, a1980s film Fame and the musical Broadway show. The story follows a group of teenagers with aspirations of stardom who attend the performing arts school.

Colton Harris, 12, plays Nick Piazza in the production. He said the musical is lighthearted.

“It is set in the ’80s, which gives us permission to dress up for what would pass now as a lunatic,” said Harris.

Madelyn Olson, 11, Miss Sherman, said it’s funny and a good story, but it’s not an over dramatic play.

Fame Jr. shows March 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday (March 18) at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Harbour City Theatre, located at 25 Victoria Rd.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for seniors and youths available at Catwalk Fashions or Kismet Theatre Academy.