Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New theater class offers unique opportunities

The Patel Conservatory announces a new opportunity for young theater professionals and pre-professionals.

Theater for Young Audiences (TYA) is a new class at the Conservatory that offers acting students the chance to educate and entertain kids.

“In my career as a performer and director for young audiences, I have come across many artists who think children’s theater is something you do until you get a real gig,” said Ami Sallee, theater chair at the Patel Conservatory, who helped create the new class.

Sallee has found that creating theater experiences for children has been a rewarding experience for both the children who are entertained and the performers themselves.

“As an artist in children’s theater, you’re not just a performer, you’re an educator, and that’s a responsibility I take very seriously,” said Sallee.

To that end, the TYA class was designed to train young artists to be well-rounded, high quality children’s theater professionals.

In the class, students will work along with Conservatory theater apprentices to create and teach educational workshops and shows for elementary and middle school aged kids.

Training will include researching and developing study guides, and work with our faculty to create and teach educational workshops to coincide with the Field Trip, Kid Time and Wee Folk series shows that tour through the Straz Center. Students will also work side-by-side with our theater faculty at events such as Day at the Straz, Broadway Family Night or other events.

The TYA group will also work with a professional playwright to write and produce an original play. They’ll take it through the production process from rehearsals to the stage.

In the spring, they'll perform the show for young audiences, both for the public and at area schools.

“The goal is become a pre-professional theater company that will eventually have its own name,” said Sallee.

The TYA class is a great opportunity for budding artists to gain professional experience in their craft and understand the relationship between education and the arts.

Theater for Young Audiences is intended for students in grades 11 through adults. For registration or more information, please call us at 813-222-1002.

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