One More Night of Talent Show Auditions

Last night there was singing in Olmscheid Auditorium. Laughter could also be heard drifting out of the room.  The sounds of music would occasionally rise from the portable speakers, or from someone’s instrument.  There were hats, and dresses, and colorful personalities of all kinds!  The first night of auditions for Our County’s Talent Show saw the first wave of local talent trying out on stage.

There was also paperwork (thrilling), a crack team of volunteers (love ’em!) to streamline the process, and a director on hand to guide those gathered.  The director’s antics were one source for the laughter heard throughout the night!  With the variety of local performers and the unique personas accompanying the talent, the ShoeString team was crucial to meeting everyone’s needs and making sure each act had their due time on stage.


And what about you?  Did you or your group miss last night’s chance to audition for the talent show?  Did you have a conflicting schedule and were unable to attend?  Are you still dreaming of picking up that mic and being bold on stage?  Then dream on, and fear not!  The knock of opportunity continues for one more night.  One more night for the chance to turn your dreams into reality.

Auditions for Our County’s Talent Show continue this Thursday evening.   Same place, at the Olmscheid Audition in St. Helens High School.

Same time, at 7:00 pm and going until every attendee has had their chance to try out.

Don’t miss your chance again!  Its time to put your doubts to rest, call in your crew, and show up tonight with your heart set on performing at Our County’s Talent Show.  We know you have the talent.  We know the interest & passion are there.  Our community here in Columbia County is ready to support and cheer you on stage!

Auditions are welcoming to a wide array of talents. Don’t be shy to bring your flavor to the stage, and let that light shine! Possible examples (but certainly not an exclusive listing) include singing, dancing, martial arts, in a band, magic, athletic prowess, gymnastics, tap dancing, playing a musical instrument, bicycle gymnastics, juggling, drumming, acting, lip-syncing, comedy, poi balls, building something to dramatic music, drawing with unique materials, unicycle stunts, combinations of multiple talents… to the very edge of entertainment! Let us see what creative expressions of talent you can bring to the stage, and let Columbia County experience your performance in Our County’s Talent Show!

Opportunity Knocks THIS week

“I would love to be in a talent show!  But…”

Nope.  No more “but…” this time. Don’t let a ‘but’ kill this dream!

We know you have the talent.  Can feel that burning itch to perform.  That passion to do what you love and what you’ve been practicing.  To share that skill & inner fire on stage, to a crowd that supports you.  No more waiting; no more ‘buts’ in the way. The time is now. This Summer of 2018 will be the start to your next chapter.  ShoeString Community Players is here with the sound of opportunity knocking.

That knock is Our County’s Talent Show!

It’s not a competition.
There are no judges to measure and compare you against other performers.

This is a welcoming stage to spotlight your talent to the community, put on by the ShoeString Community Players, supported by the community.

THIS Wednesday and Thursday (the 11th & 12th) at 7:00pm are your chances to audition to enter the Talent Show.  Come join us at Olmscheid Auditorium at the St. Helens High School. with your gear, your crew, your audition tape, your band, your team… and whatever else you need to audition for a spot on stage.

What age range of performers are we seeking?  ALL AGES!

What group size is ideal?  From individual performers to ANY SIZE group!!

What kind of talent are we looking for?  ALL KINDS!!

“What about singing, dancing, singing AND dancing, in a band, drumming, tap dancing, playing a musical instrument…?“  YES. Those are fantastic performance talents! We’d love to see you at this week’s auditions.

“How about demonstrations of athletic prowess,, martial arts, gymnastics, bicycle gymnastics, juggling…?”  ABSOLUTELY! The talent to practice and focus on those skills is one we’d love to have shining on stage! Choreographed or improvised, with music & lights or without, solo or in a group, please come show us what you have!

“I have fun with some things and am pretty good at some of them too. Not sure if they’re a talent though…”
That’s one reason we have auditions! 😀 Some talents are right in front of us, and others are creative ideas we hadn’t thought of yet.  Acting, lip-syncing, magic, comedy, to poi balls, to list more possible examples of creative expressions of your talent. Building something to dramatic music, drawing with unique materials, unicycle stunts, combinations of multiple talents, to the very edge of entertainment!  The time is now. You have been practicing, and you will be ready.

Our county has been waiting to cheer on your talent.

You have been waiting to ignite that inner fire, and show off your passion.

ShoeString Community Players is here with the opportunity to end the waiting.

Get ready to shine at Our County’s Talent Show!

Pre-register at the link below, or join SSCP at 7pm this Weds/Thur (11th or 12th) at Olmscheid Auditorium to audition.

Please Pre-Register at→

We are asking for a $10 registration fee that includes a ShoeString Community Players membership.  Scholarships are available for those in need!  You need to audition and be seen and heard!

Talent Show Auditions Happening July!

How do you build the interest & content to host a county-wide Talent Show?  When putting on a show that highlights local performers, how do you reach out to those talented individuals & groups wanting a chance to shine in the spotlight?  How can you inspire residents to boldly step forward and let out the performer inside?  And how do you notify the public that their friends & neighbors will be gathering to put on a diverse & entertaining show; one which will echo through Columbia County’s collective memories?

There are many options & steps to answer those questions. Some are newer and use modern technology, some rely on networking & human connection, and some are tried & true methods birthed in humanity’s history of hosting performance art. Volunteering for ShoeString Community Players is an invaluable opportunity to learn about all of these options, including the fundamental step of being visible to the public eye.

Saturday morning, before the Kiwanis parade, was one such opportunity. It was real ‘boots on the ground’ action creating one tested & successful solution to the challenges mentioned above – distributing sandwich boards around St. Helens.  A small crack team  gathered where the signs are kept.

We assembled each sandwich board with the audition call for Our County’s Talent Show, and placed them where they are most likely to be seen at locations where the residents can see the signs as they pass by, and folks can be inspired to come audition their talent! Or be inspired to become an audience in support of their friends & neighbors.  Distributing these signs is real call to action, to gather the most talented, and increase the impact of the Talent Show.  Yet to make it happen will required showing up, and giving it your all with one’s investment of attention & energy.

Volunteering provides a plethora of ways to be involved, as enjoyable or difficult as we choose when showing up to serve.  No two activities are quite the same, it’s live and unedited, and I find this quality makes volunteering for SSCP very exciting! This particular early adventure included aspects such as:

  • coordinating transporation
  • tasty coffee (a MUST have for any morning activity!)
  • great conversation
  • playing with hammers & staple guns
  • waving at local friends I’ve come to recognize in St. Helens
  • a humbling slip to the ground when too focused on taking a picture, in front of witnesses!
  • A LOT of hustle to finish before parade preparation time.

Where does the motivation come from to take these actions?  What could possibly inspire someone to show up and go through this experience, when there is no paycheck involved?  Life is busy enough, so what drives a person to make time for activities like this?  What drives us to come back for more?

Every person answers these questions differently. That diversity is part of what makes life & humanity so interesting, and keeps the wheels turning.  Sometimes the motive is like a burning coal in a person’s mind or in one’s heart, needing only a little fuel & fanning to ignite a bonfire of active service. Other times it is unknown when first showing up, and is discovered through deliberate steps along the way.  Some motives are shared with fellow ShoeString Community Players, and some are unique to an individual’s perspective.  The simple love of theater & the arts can be a significant driver to many volunteers for SSCP, which seems an obvious motive.  Strengthening the value of a healthy performance art culture, and the value this culture contributes to a community’s creativity & resilience, are other possible motives.

Having observed many friends & local acquaintances who possess a particular skill or talent, whatever their current audience size, I often wish more of our community could see them perform. I have been honored to witness many of you display your skill or passion, and have not yet had the chance for others. Volunteering to promote Our County’s Talent Show to St. Helens & Columbia County is a way to help you and many other folks shine your talent to an audience who previously may not have seen what you can do. To be impressed as I have been impressed, to share in the “Wow!” factor, and to make memories together.  These are reasons behind this volunteer’s intention when showing up to contribute towards the event’s success.

Drawing in more talent for the show and building a larger audience is another motive which resonates with some volunteers, and drives these promotion efforts.  Actually getting on stage and performing is not this writer’s strength. Yet these promotional activities create the opportunity to practice my own passions – writing and making connections in our community. ShoeString Community Players as an organization provides many such chances, and Our County’s Talent Show is one of the most exciting ones on the radar currently! Volunteering attention toward this event opens doors for moving about town, being neighborly and a part of this community, networking and building connections, practicing my passion while giving a platform for other talented locals to practice theirs, and using a wide variety of tools to give the talent show the greatest impact possible. What a great set of motives! And what a great time to be a part of creating something together!

From assembling the sandwich boards Saturday morning, to placing the audition calls in the public eye, to recording the experience, and now writing about what it was like to contribute this small but important piece. It is a learning process to step up and show up to be a part of something amazing. Our County’s Talent Show is the chance to invest your attention & interest, whether you are a performer, a volunteer, or an audience member.

Where will you find your place?  What passion are you already practicing, or perhaps have kept hidden and now feel the call to bring out? What individual talent or group performance are you wanting to share with your community?  In what way can you volunteer, contribute, audition, and co-create what will surely be a magnificent display of performances that will be remembered and talked about long into our future?  Our Country’s Talent Show is that knock of opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

Auditions will be held July 11th & 12th
7:00 PM at Olmscheid Auditorium, St. Helens High School
Our County’s Talent Show is open to ALL AGES…  Young kids and older adults need not be bashful.

The show invites individuals & groups to bring their passion and showcase their skills, ranging from singing, dancing, athletic prowess, in a band, lip-syncing, musical instrument, martial arts, acting, gymnastics, drumming, magic, to juggling, martial arts, singing, tap dancing, dancing, comedy, gymnastics, and to edge of entertainment and other creative expressions of your talent!  We are awaiting your presence.

Please pre-register at

We are asking for a $10 registration fee that includes a ShoeString Community Players membership.  Scholarships are available for those in need!  You need to audition and be seen and heard!


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SSCP 2018 Cheri Adams Theater Scholarship Awarded

Shoestring Community Players has been proudly serving the Columbia County theater community since 1982. We are honored to announce that we were able to award two Senior students scholarships this year.  The cream of the crop, these students intend to major in the theater arts  at an accredited 2 or 4-year college, university, or conservatory of their choice.

SSSCP President Brian Vaerwyck presented the Cheri Adams Theater Arts Scholarship to  recipients from  both St. Helens High School and Scappoose High School.   This year’s recipients are-from St.Helens High School  Miss Jennifer Fournier and from Scappoose High School – Miss Kristina Barnes. Each recipient received a scholarship worth $750.00.

Kristina Barnes has a long history in theater beginning with the 2010  Mazzola Children’s Theater production of The Princess and the Pea.  Most recently she had a lead role in the Scappoose Drama Club production of The Diary of Anne Frank. She has experience in a variety of theater related roles including acting, chorus, crew and House Manager. After graduation Kristina will plans on attending Western Oregon University in the fall of 2018 majoring in Theater Arts.

Jennifer Fournier has actively participated in theater since 2014.  In a letter of recommendation from Eric Stearns Director of Choirs for St. Helens School District, Eric is quoted as saying, “Jenny lives, eats, breathes theater.”  Jennifer has taken on a variety of roles within theater including acting, crew lights Stage Manger and even Director.  After graduation Jennifer plans on attending George Fox University with a major in Technical Theater.

The scholarship is funded by a portion of the proceeds from the Shoestring Community Players performances, including the annual summer musical, seasonal productions, and by the generous donations from patrons of the arts for the specific purpose of the scholarship.  You may donate and learn more about Shoestring Community Players scholarships at

We would like to thank all the students that applied for the opportunity for this scholarship grant and SSCP wishes to encourage students to participate in their local theater program and community theater. Bravo to the class of 2018, and well done!

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.  

SSCP Annual Membership Meeting Aug 12 @ 7pm

Are you currently a member of ShoeString Community Players or  are you interested in learning more about how to become a member? Has your membership expired and you need to renew it?

Join us at the Annual Membership Meeting to get all your questions answered, renew your membership or sign up to be a new member.  The meeting will be at 7pm on Sunday 08/12/2018  at Sunshine Pizza.  Sunshine Pizza is located at 2124 Columbia Blvd. in St. Helens.

Annual Meeting