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    Pacific Okinawa Players fosters creativity in Status of Forces Agreement personnel



    Story by Cpl. Janessa Pon 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa - The Pacific Okinawa Players hosted its latest musical production Oct. 23 on Camp Foster.

    The Pacific Okinawa Players, also known as, “POPs”, is a theater group comprised of volunteers under the Status of Forces Agreement on Okinawa, and has been active for more than 15 years. POPs’ latest musical production was “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

    “POPs produces plays, musicals and other forms of live entertainment within the community, and also gives back to the community,” said Monica Poulsen, the director of the show with POPs. “The proceeds from ticket sales fund the shows as well as scholarships for students pursuing performing arts careers.”

    The production was performed at locations such as the Kadena Air Base United Services Organization center, Ryukyu Middle School and the Headquarters and Support Battalion building on Camp Foster.

    The program serves as a way for people to meet others who share common interests and enjoy self-expression by using the talents they have to create something they can share in the community, according to Jeffrey Yeatman, who played the role of “Leaf Coneybear.”

    The performers proceeded up the aisles once the audience settled in and performed the first musical number, introducing the characters one-by-one.
    “While it can be difficult to draw a crowd here with everyone’s busy schedules, we managed some great ticket sales,” said Poulsen, a Cobleskill, New York, native. “Approximately 190 people attended the play on its performance dates, Oct. 15-17, 22-24.”

    The musical’s plot was centered on a spelling bee in which the characters were competing. The characters’ stories were illustrated through various flashbacks and scenes that played into their performance in the bee.
    “Theater is something I have been involved with for many years,” said Yeatman, a Ruidoso, New Mexico, native. “I minored in theater in college, so getting involved with POPs has been my way of remaining a part of it. I was able to help with lighting, sound and set designs and there are people here who have experience and talents... Everyone works together to make everything come together.”

    When the musical concluded, the actors and actresses took a bow as the audience applauded.

    “Our team really put their heads together to put this production together,” said Poulsen. “It took us six weeks... That is very fast for a full-length musical. Being that we are made up of volunteers, it’s a great feeling to know what we can make happen with a lot of determination and teamwork, as well as the positive impact we are making on our community and each other.”

    To become a member of POPs or for more information on upcoming productions, visit www.pacificokinawaplayers.com.



    Date Taken: 10.23.2015
    Date Posted: 11.02.2015 18:00
    Story ID: 180258
    Hometown: COBLESKILL, NY, US
    Hometown: RUIDOSO, NM, US

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