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Braving the stage:

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by Lenise Willis

Photo by City Arts

Acting classes and auditions in the Triad

There are ultimately two major sides to theatre: the house view and the stage view. While one can be calming and relaxing as you sit back and watch the show, the other can be nervewracking yet thrilling as you brave the spotlight and perform. And though both views are entirely different, one thing’s for sure: Both are rewarding and exciting. While many theatres are gearing up for their fall season, offering a long list of shows to preview, others are offering acting opportunities to see a show from a different perspective.

Now open for enrollment is Lee Street Theatre’s fall acting classes for adults. The theatre is once again opening their rehearsal room for weekly classes as a 12-week intensive.

The benefits of acting classes, even as an adult, are far reaching and may even help advance your career, in addition to your social life. Acting students often find self-confidence and gain poise, so that they carry themselves better throughout their everyday life, including in their workplace. Students can also use the classes to get over their fear of public speaking, and learn how to be a better team player.

Each three-hour class meets Tuesdays from 7-10 p.m. Participants will display their new skills in a final showcase December 7 as the opener for Lee Street’s new play festival, “10-Minute Christmas.”

Leading the classes is Kindra Steenerson, acting professor and the executive director of SAGE Acts, which promotes self-awareness through development exercises, in Charlotte. Class curriculum will cover the Sanford Meisner method of impulse work as applied to repetition exercises, which is the foundational tool for recognizing behavioral cues, as well as improvisational scenes, and a final scripted scene study.

Classes begin September 13 with limited enrollment in order for students to have individualized work each week. Cost for enrollment in the course is $250, which evens out to about $20 per class and is open to students 18 and older. All levels of acting, including beginners, are welcome.

For more information visit leestreet.org, call 704-310-5507 or email info@leestreet. org. Lee Street theatre is located at 329 N. Lee St. in Salisbury.

Meanwhile, Greensboro’s The Drama Center of City Arts is also gearing up for its annual “Evening of Short Plays,” which presents acting opportunities for anyone 16 years of age and older.

This year’s event, “An Evening of Short Plays: The African American Experience,” will run September 22-25. Auditions are Monday, August 22, and Tuesday, August 23, at 7 p.m. Monday’s audition will be held at the Stephen D. Hyers Theatre in the Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., and Tuesday’s auditions will be held at the Caldcleugh Multicultural Center, 1700 Orchard St. The center is looking for actors of all shapes, sizes, genders and races.

No head shots or experience are necessary, which makes this a great opportunity for beginner’s to try their hand at something new. Actors will be asked to do a cold reading from the script.

FOR THE ASPIRING CHILD ACTOR For the young and ambitious, the Drama Center of City Arts in Greensboro is holding auditions for its fall children’s show, Mr. Toad’s Mad Adventures, a high-spirited, rollicking version of the classic tale The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

For children, acting experience can help build self-confidence, as well as teach discipline, team work, task management and social skills. It’s also just plain clean fun that can act as a creative outlet and keep them out of trouble.

Open to actors in grades 4-9, auditions are September 2 and 3, Friday from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday from 1-3 p.m. in the Stephen D. Hyers Theatre at the Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St.

Actors should come prepared to read from the script. And since the show is not a musical, no score needs to be practiced beforehand. The show will run October 7-9 in Greensboro College’s Odell Auditorium. For more information visit thedramacenter.com or call 336-373-2728. !

LENISE WILLIS, a graduate from UNC Chapel Hill’s journalism school, has experience in acting and ballet, and has been covering live performances since 2010.

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