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Snow Stir Crazy

by Lenise Willis

Photos by Christine Rucker

We’ve only just finished Thanksgiving, but without a doubt Triad kids are already looking forward to their winter break just around the corner. Luckily, there are a few theatrical opportunities around to keep them from getting too pent-up over the holidays.

UNC School of the Arts, for one, is hosting free class demonstrations next week for Acting Out!, its upcoming spring program offered by the School of Drama.

“Acting Out! offers an age-appropriate introduction to acting skills, musical theatre, creative movement (for parents and children) and tap for grades 3 through adult,” said Suzanna Watkins, director of community and summer programs. “It’s geared to the process of learning acting skills””vocal training, movement and body awareness, using imagination and deep understanding of text””rather than to the end-result of a production. Hopefully the skills learned can be used not only in school plays, but also in oral and team presentations and public speaking. Acting skills are speaking. Acting skills are essentially communication skills that are valuable in school and in work.”

Though classes don’t begin until January, the school will be at Hanes Mall on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. so kids and parents alike can get a feel for the program and join in on games, singing and dancing. Current participants in musical theatre, tap dance and voice classes will be demonstrating their skills at the event.

“The demos will show how accessible and fun the classes are; (they) eliminate the intimidation factor,” Watkins said. “In the same way that seeing a theatrical performance is a richer experience than reading a play””and performing a play is richer still””we think that showing the kinds of activities that make up the Acting Out! classes will be the best way to convey how valuable and fun they are. The current students will invite people to participate in the games and activities under the guidance of the instructors, so it will be a little taste of what Acting Out! is all about.”

Watkins added that the program is a way for UNCSA to give back to the community “by sharing the school’s wealth of professional theatrical expertise in active engagement with a broad base of learners.”

“Since no audition is required, Acting Out! gives people who have never done any acting the opportunity to try it out in a fun, non-intimidating way,” she said. “The experience also gives people a new understanding of the work they see on a stage or in a movie; doing an actor’s work is a lot different from watching an actor.”

WANNA go?

Classes officially begin January 5 and include acting, multi-movement mania, musical theatre, private voice lessons and tap time. Classes are offered for ages first grade to adult. For more information visit uncsa.edu/actingout.


Community Theatre of Greensboro is another organization preparing for the season. Its Winter Break Camp for grades K – 5 offers a fun way for children to hone their creative skills and keep their minds sharp while out of school.

“One thing that I enjoy about this camp is that it not only gives parents the chance to have their kids involved with something theatrical during the break, but it also gives the opportunity for some kids who may not be able to commit to a full rehearsal schedule a chance to shine on a stage,” said Rozalyn Fulton, director.

The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. December 21, 22, 23, 28 and 29. Kids can participate on only one day, or all of them. Each day of the camp, kids will enjoy playing theater games and working on storytelling activities and small skits. No prior experience is required, only an interest in having fun and learning a little more about theatre.

Fulton added that if the majority of the students sign up for all five days of the camp, then the theater would have the opportunity to put together a short skit, which the kids would perform for the parents on the last day of camp. !

WANNA go?

Call or email Rozalyn Fulton, director, at 333-7470 ext. 201 or RFulton@ctgso.org. Fulton suggests that parents register their kids early to secure a spot. Cost is $25 per day or $100 for all five days. Students need to bring a lunch. Morning and afternoon snack will be provided.

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