Sydney Campbell (11), Angeliki Harris (8) and Blaze Whiting (9) all faced a few first-day jitters at last year's Summer Acting Workshop at South Coast Repertory.
They didn't really know what they were getting into—after all, it was their parents who had signed them up. But those nerves disappeared once they got into their classes.
Class activities focused on movement, voice and character development but also made time for theatre games that helped stretch kids' imaginations—games with names like Poison Dart Frog and Busy Bee.
Sydney's favorite was Taxi: "There are four chairs. Three people would be in the 'car,' and they'd pick up one hitchhiker who was really weird and out of the ordinary. The other three would have to pick up his awkward traits."
Angeliki's favorite part of the day came early: "Almost every morning all the classes got together. One day we did parts of a play, Hansel and Gretel."
For one hour each day guest lecturers taught the students about theatre crafts beyond acting, including stage combat, playwriting, improvisation, and design.
"That's right," Blaze remembered. "In the play we got to choose lights and costumes. We got to choose different jobs."
By the end of the two-week program, which included a special demonstration for parents, all three kids took away one important lesson.
For Angeliki, it was: "How to work with each other."
For Blaze: "How to plan out things before doing them."
For Sydney: "How to grasp a character and the importance of totally transforming into the person you want to be."
Best of all were the friendships they made. Friendships that even a year later, they still have.
Find more information on the Summer Acting Workshop!