Two promotions representatives with “Up With People” arrived in Hamilton during the past week, making preparations for the tour’s arrival in early September.
Malin Winberg, from Sweden, is joined by Sergio Campos, from Mexico. A third promotions representative from Alaska, Ashley Wright, is also with the pair in Hamilton.
They are preparing for the show titled “Voices” - it is not a concert and not a musical, Winberg said.
“It’s something nobody else does,” she said, adding that it includes the lesson of raising your voice but also listening to other’s voices. It also includes “happy and fun” songs from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
The cast is made up of teenagers and young adults from all over the world who will spend about a week in the two towns that will include extensive school visits in addition to two headlining performances at .
“It’s like a ride round the world for two hours,” Winberg said.
Even before their arrival, Winberg said members of the Hamilton-Wenham EdFund – including Up With People alum Christina Comparato – have put in a lot of time to organize the program.
“They are passing the torch to us,” Winberg said.
The EdFund has sponsored “Up With People’s” visit and will receive the proceeds of the ticket sales. The EdFund is a non-profit group that gives out grants for enrichment programs in the .
The show that is coming to Hamilton will have made three stops before its arrival, including in Concord and Plymouth. Afterward, they head to Taiwan and Philippines. Right now, the cast is rehearsing in Denver, the company’s headquarters through early August. The show is professionally produced.
Both Winberg and Campos will be in Hamilton through the performances on Sept. 7 and 8. Like everyone with “Up With People,” they are staying with host families. They plan to appear at community events – “to get the community into the mindset” - through early September in Hamilton and Wenham, plus other areas of the North Shore.
“We are going to try to be at every big event,” Winberg said.
The two performances won’t be in the high school auditorium and instead will be in the high school gym, where “Up With People” will set up a full set and lights and allows up to 1,000 people to see the show.
The cast and crew for the September shows in Hamilton will come from 20 countries, including Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay and Sweden, in addition to the United States.
Before the week-ending performances, the cast and crew will spend time in the local schools. From Sept. 4-6, the 100 “Up With people” visitors will spend time at all levels, from elementary schools to the high school.
When “Up With People” first began discussions with the EdFund, they asked what they could offer Hamilton and Wenham. “Up With People” was told there is not a lot of poverty in the area compared, to example, some areas of Central American or the Caribbean they may visit.
“We need diversity,” Malin said “Up With People” was told.
And that is what they plan to offer. They plan to offer lessons about international diversity, among other topics.
“We really believe it will have a real impact,” Winberg said, later adding: “One of the big goals is to make the whole world come together.”
Winberg said “Up With People” is still looking for host families for about 30 to 40 young people. At first, they were looking for about 110 hosts and the two towns have “been so responsive” to whittle it down.
“It seems everyone really has a great commitment to their community,” Campos said.
Shows are Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. both nights. Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students, senior and children. Ticket prices will be $5 more at the door. Winberg said 100 percent of the ticket proceeds go to the EdFund.