Homer’s Jubilee youth variety show to be performed Friday at the Mariner Theatre

Homer’s annual Jubilee talent show, sponsored by Homer’s Council on the Arts, returns to the Homer High School Mariner Theatre for a single performance on Friday night. The show starts at 7 p.m.

There are 25 acts in this year’s two-hour show, including dance, vocal, piano and theater acts. The event is directed by Jimmy Anderson and Britny Bradshaw.

The original Jubilee show started in 1985 with a visual arts show. The performance/talent component started in 1987. The show is always hosted by the arts council, but this is the first year back on stage after a few years delay during the COVID pandemic.

Anderson said there is a lot of excitement this year because of the downtime. He said in the past the show has had a more extensive audition process and not everyone made the cut.

“This one there weren’t auditioners that we cut, because we really want to get the show back up and running. Everyone has brought talent to the table and we really wanted to inspire the kids to put their best foot forward and put the effort in. We think the kids are excited and the audience is really going to have a great show,” Anderson said.

Jubilee will be a two-hour show with an intermission.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to come out and support these youth,” Anderson said.

Anderson, who grew up in Homer, listed some older talent shows that used to run in the community.

“Back in the 1960s and ‘70s there was the Cabin Fever Variety Show in Anchor Point, the Country Western Jamboree in Homer, Jill Berryman used to do a lot of dance events and there were all of the Pier One shows with Lance Petersen. There was a fair amount of opportunity for kids to get involved in theater, but not quite as much as we have today. There is so much available these days for Homer youth.”

Anderson noted that in addition to supporting community youth, the performance on Friday serves as a fundraiser for the arts council’s student summer scholarship opportunities. Students can go online and apply for scholarships for tuition, travel costs and fees that will support their growth in arts.

“That’s a really good reason to attend the performance itself. We really hope the theater just fills up.”

Anderson said there are a few elementary-aged students in group performance pieces but most performers are in middle and high school.

“The audience will see some real talent; there’s a wide range of energy in the performance lineup.”

Anderson said he’s also interested in considering an adult talent show version of Jubilee.

“In 1988, Jill Berryman and I produced a community show called ‘Homer’s Home Grown’, a variety show of both adult and youth talent. We originally wanted to film it for the Alaska PBS station — that type of event really brings the community together and gets all the talent together and I’d love to try and see an opportunity to develop that idea again.”