Students participate in theater workshop with Woodbury Community TheatreWoodbury Community Theatre hosted Summer Stock, held Aug. 6-17, which taught students, grades 7-10, some basic acting techniques, including how to audition.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Actors in training received some tips of the trade the past two weeks as part of Woodbury Community Theatre’s Summer Stock program at the Dorothy Merill Community Arts Center.
Summer Stock, which was held Aug. 6-17, taught students, grades 7-10, some basic acting techniques, including how to audition.
Additionally, the group of 17 performed a Broadway revue show for parents on Aug. 17.
WCT director Lori Sager headed up the camp.
The idea for Summer Stock developed earlier this year after a high number of youth auditioned for the WCT productions.
“There were just so many numbers that we couldn’t accommodate everyone,” Sager said. “So, we thought there was a big need to have a group come together to learn how to audition well, sing a little better and have an opportunity to perform.
“Especially at this age since they’re not the little kids anymore where they can just show up and be cute; they actually have to sing and act and have a few dance skills.”
Sager said the central goal of Summer Stock was to better prepare youth to audition for productions.
“So many of these students go into an audition just not prepared and not knowing what to do,” she said. “We want to get them ready for their next audition.”
Summer Stock began with Sager and the other mentors teaching participants improvisation, pantomime and some basic acting techniques.
Next the group started working on singing, and dancing in order to develop those basic skill sets, Sager said.
Next, Sager had each of the students audition for her after which she assigned them a song to rehearse and perform.
“Whatever they came to me with I tried to find something I knew they could sing well and perform well,” she said. “Each student got a song that would work well for them as an audition piece that they can audition with in the future.”
Next, the group went to work writing the script for the final performance for parents.
Also throughout the two weeks Summer Stock included various theater games and songs.
Additionally, Sager brought in various WCT choreographers and directors who gave workshops on how to best audition.
Sager said she felt Summer Stock proved to be successful because she saw some kids who were shy come out of their shells, saw youth become better singers, saw some youth learn to dance and just saw their confidence grow.
“Some of them have never had a solo in their lives,” she said. “Lots of things were accomplished in the last two weeks.”
Sager said she would like to hold another Summer Stock in the future because it proves so beneficial for youth.
“I think it was a very successful two weeks,” she said. “I think the kids really benefited from having this opportunity.
“I think it was opportunities that some of them have never had.”