This summer, West Michigan teens are learning theatre through a whole new light. Under the keen guidance of Civic Theatre professionals, students are learning the art of performance through specialized dancing, singing, and acting (Intensive) classes. Those with an interest in the technical aspect of theatre are participating in hands on classes in set and costume design, lights and sound, and backstage crewing. Students will showcase their deepening talents with community performances of Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Into the Woods Jr.
“The Intensive is a six week program that opens possibilities for our students. Some will journey to college in this field, while others will flourish in other career choices” stated Allyson Paris, Associate Director, “this program awakens confidence and creativity in each child, and strengthens their life skills for today and as future leaders.” Students meet and learn from theatre professionals from across the nation. Each week a Friday master class is held and led by renowned artists from the likes of Purple Rose Theatre, Looking Glass Theatre, Broadway cast of Book of Mormon and many Collegiate Theatre Programs including Hope College, Columbia College and Western Michigan University.
Paris noted, “We are proud to be one of the only theatres in Michigan to provide this type of Intensive programming for young people. It is filling a void in our community and is just the tipping point of more exciting educational programming taking center stage beginning this fall.”
The performances run from July 29 – August 7 with tickets costing between $10 -$16.
About the Productions
Sideways Stories from Wayside School is an adaption from the book series by Louis Sachar by the same name. Wayside school is many things, not one of them is anywhere near normal. The school is a thirty-story building with one classroom on each floor. The teachers range from being kind and caring to turning kids into apples for giving a wrong answer, some may or may not even exist. As if grade school wasn’t tough enough these zany characters, they must embark on the bizarre classroom journey that is sure to delight audiences.
Into The Woods Jr is James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s collaborative adaptation of many intertwined classic fairytales by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. This production first hit Broadway in 1987, where it won several Tony Awards. Since then the musical has been produced many times as well as earning itself a Disney film adaptation. This story follows familiar family favorites like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, the beanstalk climbing Jack, as well as countless other memorable characters in this enchanted tale through a magic wood.