Teenage emcees Hailey Winch, left, Keelie Partridge and Harrison Keating study a script Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Whidbey Playhouse in preparation for the second Whidbey Has Talent competition at Oak Harbor High School Sunday. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Kids tune up for Whidbey Has Talent

Even emcees need to rehearse their lines.

That experience has been much more fun this year for the teens who’ll be hosting Whidbey Has Talent, the island-wide youth talent show that will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Oak Harbor High School.

“Last year, they had note cards for us that had jokes on them,” said Hailey Winch, a freshman at Oak Harbor’s HomeConnection. “It wasn’t even our humor.”

This year, emcees get more creative freedom. They even have a script typed up in their words.

Preparation is much better this time around, said Harrison Keating, a seventh grader at Oak Harbor Middle School, though he didn’t really mind the canned jokes last year, which he labeled “bad puns.” He just tweaked them a little.

“I had a couple jokes that I made a little bit funnier,” he said.

“Well, funny for Harrison,” Winch said.

“Maybe not for the world,” Keating added.

Keating is not only a host. He and Keelie Partridge, a ninth grader at Oak Harbor High School, are part of a band that is providing pre-show music. Partridge also is one of the five teen emcees.

Whidbey Has Talent has slightly fewer performers (45) in its second year, but more acts, said JR Russell, one of the show’s organizers.

It will feature 30 acts in three different age-group divisions: presentation (el-ementary school kids), junior (middle school) and senior (high school).

Most of the acts are musical, many of them solo. Crimson Sky, a band made up of students from Coupeville High School, will close the show, Russell said.

Talent also will include dancers and one senior division participant will recite a “very powerful” poem, Russell said.

Tickets for the show are $5, covering all three divisions.

The presentation division starts at 2 p.m., junior division at 4 p.m. and senior division at 6:30 p.m.

The top three finishers in the junior and senior divisions earn cash prizes. First place for the senior division is $500. There also are people’s choice awards.

The event, sponsored by the Whidbey Playhouse, will take place in the high school’s Student Union Building.

Concessions will be run by the Oak Harbor High School band booster club as part of a fundraiser to acquire new band uniforms.

n For more information about Whidbey Has Talent, go to www.whidbeyhastalent.com

JR Russell, one of the organizers with Whidbey Has Talent, goes over details Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Whidbey Playhouse in preparation for the island-wide youth talent show at Oak Harbor High School Sunday. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

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