Friday, April 22, 2016

Performance Ensemble: Summer Fun for Busy Kids

Donald Amerson with his students.
Kristian Leach with her students.
Summer Performance Ensemble is a three-week class for returning students who rehearse—and then perform—a show for friends and families. Students who sign up for Performance Ensemble have three things in common—they’re enthusiastic, talented and busy.

As much as they love acting, they don’t necessarily have time in their schedules for the SCR Players (students chosen by audition who attend year-round classes twice a week, plus extra hours during rehearsal and the run of their shows).

So a three-week summer program is the perfect solution—especially when classes are held mornings only (from 9am to 12pm) on week days, with the performance on Saturday of the final week.

This summer, students in grades 4-6 will go on a journey from Connecticut to Camelot—with instructor Donald Amerson, who is looking forward to the trip.

“What’s more fun than rehearsing a light-hearted comedy like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court?” Donald asks. “The play is based on the story by Mark Twain, and we’ll approach the material by using the text (which is filled with humor) to help our young actors understand how to develop characters and follow direction. And while the production will be ambitious, the process will be just as important as the performance. I think they’ll have a great time during the three-week rehearsal period and develop a real love for the craft of acting.”

Instructor Kristina Leach offers her students in grades 7-12 a unique experience rehearsing and performing an ensemble piece that they write themselves, with her guidance.

“It’s so much fun putting together something of our own that we rehearse as we go along,” Kristina says. “I don’t even choose a theme until the first day of class when I meet and get to know the students. In the past we’ve tackled subjects like ‘global warming’ and ‘what scares you?’ Last summer, we wrote original monologues that included a teenaged super hero, a love-starved dragon and a witch with a YouTube channel. This class is for actors who like to write, writers who like to act—and students who don’t even realize they can do it all!”

Learn more about SCR's Theatre Conservatory.

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