An Actors Studio – All Ages
Sessions after school and Saturday with Mary Weaver
The Playhouse Children’s Theater was established in 1994. Last year 50 children were a part of the creative acting or production sessions. Students may begin at age 5 and many study for several years. Some continue to develop their skills and perform professionally – some have created theater companies and children’s programs of their own.
In our two decades The Playhouse Children’s Theater has presented 50 plays – including five that were premieres of new scripts – as well as hilarious talent and improv shows, puppet shows, musical events, and so on. Each year 150 free tickets are given to local elementary schools to come see our plays.
The Playhouse Children’s Theater is wonderfully unique and very important to our community. No other theater in our area is devoted to the education and training of children. The Playhouse is perfect in size for children to learn about theater performance. The space has an ample stage with curtains, lighting, a backstage area, and a green room with dressing rooms and make-up area.
Creative Acting Sessions – These sessions are fast-paced and fun. Creating stories, improvising, building dramatic action, character creation, and developing a sense of humor are all part of the activities. The basic language of the theater is explained. Sessions are spontaneous and fluid. Collaboration as well as individual expression is encouraged.
Stagecraft & Production Sessions – Stagecraft Sessions involve the study of acting through the production of plays. Students are cast in a variety of roles that suit their special talents and also challenge their creativity. Students in productions become members of The Playhouse Children’s Theater Company.
As the children move into adolescence, The Playhouse selects special plays and activities that fit their maturity level and reflect the teenage experience. A much deeper exploration of the material and the operation of a theater company are an important part of the program.
The Teen Theater Company is composed of students who have performed together in productions at The Playhouse. The object is to give students experience in all aspects of running a small theater company as well as to continue to develop their acting skills.
Playhouse Teen Interns are given opportunities to help on all of the productions both adult and youth over the year. Students who have demonstrated a desire to work professionally in the theater are given production responsibilities supporting the house management, the backstage activities, rehearsal direction and stage management.
We believe the most significant outcome is the development of a strong personal sense of self-esteem and an awareness of others that is learned through theater productions. Children learn to speak up and to express themselves clearly in a public setting. They learn to share focus in a group activity. Some participants will not continue to a career in theater but will still benefit from the experience in other more personal ways. Most important, they develop a life-long love of theater.