The Local Arts
KellieAnn Halvorsen, the author of "The Drama Princess," practically grew up on stage at her local community theater, The Riverton Arts Council. The volunteers of her community theater have touched her heart and sincerely shaped her into the person she is today. For this reason The Drama Princess is dedicated to Kim Ostler, former president, and the volunteers of the Riverton Arts Council.
KellieAnn grew up to be one of those volunteers as she continues to help in youth productions year round. She loves watching these shy kids, like she was once herself, gain friends, confidence and life skills as they work through the productions. But years ago she saw that something wasn't quite clicking in the minds of the young cast. Talented cast members, even veteran performers, didn't quit understand the full process of putting on a production, or what each production member did. This confusion often led to complications and even hurt feelings backstage. KellieAnn made a mental note to someday write a children's book to explain these details in a kind clear way. It took several years or work, research, and a wonderful illustrator, but she finally self-published the book in fall 2013.
As KellieAnn worked on the book it evolved and expanded from a simple picture book, to a full guidebook and future series. She drew inspiration for her book from the community of performers and production staff around her. The character and energy of Ellie is named for a real little girl whose grandmother, Kim Oslter, really was the president of the community theater. The theater shown in the darling illustrations very much looks like the auditorium at her local community center. Even many of the characters look similar to their real life counter parts, including KellieAnn's father the Lighting Director. This homage was intentionally done to honer her beloved theater and theater friends.
KellieAnn hopes that this book will not only help children to understand the theater process, but encourage children of all ages to support their own local arts programs.
The real life Ellie, and cast member Alley Rossberg, pose for a publicity photo for the Riverton Arts Council in spring 2012.