A group of toys must spend a week at “Toy Camp,” learning to be good toys and earning their price tag so they can be sold to children who will love and play with them.

A group of toys must spend a week at “Toy Camp,” learning to be good toys and earning their price tag so they can be sold to children who will love and play with them.

Pittsburg Family YMCA Academy of Dance Show Biz Kids will present the show at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday in the Pittsburg High School auditorium.

Tickets will be available at the door. Cost will be $5 for adults and $3 for those 12 and  younger. Children 3 and younger will be admitted free.

Opening the show will be the YMCA Show Stoppers. They and the Show Biz Kids are under the direction of Tandi Rhuems.

The toys include jigsaw puzzle pieces, a teddy bear, toy soldier, assorted dolls and a sock monkey. They quarrel among each other and worry about not getting a price tag and ending up in the dreaded “Toy Dump.”  

“Basically, they’re learning how to behave well and learn to be what they are meant to be, not what somebody tells them they should be,” Rhuems said.

A quote from poet E.E. Cummings she placed on the play program sums it up this way: “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

The toys also learn about getting along with each other.

Sarah Martin, as Jig, said that her character doesn’t really like Saw, played by Lexi Muckala.
“But we try to work something out,” Martin said.

The show features some catchy little tunes, including “Things Are Ruff All Over, Rover” and excellent costumes.

“I would say our costumes are super cute this year,” Rhuems said.

Maddy Emerson, who plays Jack, a jack-in-the-box, is especially fond of her costume.

“It’s so different,” she said. “I’ve been in Show Biz Kids forever and been in a lot of shows, but I’ve never been in a box before.”

This was Sarah Martin’s first time with Show Biz Kids, but she said she definitely wants to be in the show next year.

“We drive over from Parsons for this, and it’s well worth it,” said her mother, Rose Martin. “Tandi is amazing. We have family in Pittsburg, and they’re all going to be here both days of the show.”

Rhuems, Lisa McLarty, Candy Westhoff and Sherry Kratz were in charge of costume creations. Choreography was done by Rhuems, Amanda Krause and Jenna Perez. Denise Williams served as technical director and did the lights and sound.

Numerous parents assisted in various ways with the production.

“Toy Camp” cast includes Cassie Hurt-McLarty, who nails a schoolteacher voice as Miss Grouchstick; Alora Spencer as Rover; McKenna Shaw as Cool Cat; Amber Kratz as Ted E. Bear; Morgan Michael as Princess Ann; Ella Rhuems as Prima Donna; Hallie Hadaegh as Glow Toy; Xander Dye as Toy Soldier; Sarah Martin as Jig; Lexie Muckala as Saw; Trinity Dye as Wedgley; Karley Jones as Side; Maddy Emerson as Jack; Olivia Parsons as Doll; Aubri Hoffman as Purple Poodle; Kate Kirby as Pink Cat; August Chamberlain and Catheryn Poe as Puzzles; Emma Barnhisel as Ladybug; Eve Bertoncino as Sock Monkey; Jack Bertoncino as Army Toy; and Sydney Hadaegh as Red Fairy.

Show Stoppers are Orin Weiss, Peyton Morey, Kate Smith, Jordyn Shattuck, Kassidy Fox and Natalie Wells.

The production is dedicated  to Payton Kannarr, who was going to play Glow Toy, but was unable to be in the show because of illness.

“We miss her and we’re praying for her full recovery,” Rhuems said.