The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center has announced that registration for their summer children’s theater program is officially open!
Before you know it, summer will be here with its usual explosion of activities, road trips and the inevitable cry of “I’m bored!” from the 18-and-under set. How does a busy parent cope? The Matthews has again rallied with their annual summer theater camp, dubbed The Froelich Young Actors Guild. The theater camp offers two age-appropriate sessions: an afternoon session for children entering 2nd – 6th grade and another for those entering 7th grade and above.
With all of the choices available for summer entertainment, why theater camp? It’s really fine you asked–let us explain.
Not only does theater fire up the imagination, it also provides foundational life skills such as communication, empathy and teamwork–in other words, skills that are necessary to navigate the world and, perhaps, change it. Oh, what a lofty task! Theater teaches children to work together toward a common goal while building each individual’s confidence as they learn to deliver lines and make silly faces. They learn empathy by emulating characters that may be very different from themselves, they support their cast-mates and discover how to work through challenges in a group setting. And confidence building–may we talk about confidence building for a moment? If you’ve ever experienced the magic of applause and the elation of a job well-done, then you know the result is a turbo-charged blast of self-esteem!
The Froelich Young Actors begin rehearsals on Wednesday, June 1.
From 1 pm until 3 pm, Monday through Friday, Elysia Pederson will direct “Laffin School,” a comedy by Keith Jackson for children in the 2nd – 6th grade session. “Laffin School” encounters a classic situation: a young substitute teacher, Miss Quackenbush, turns up at the Little Red Schoolhouse and finds her class is comprised of the dumbest (and funniest) pupils found anywhere. The previous teacher had a nervous breakdown, and no wonder, with things like mice in lunch boxes and a student with the measles! Unless the likable but dim-bulbed pupils can pass a simple exam, they won’t advance to the next grade but the daffy answers they give to the questions are uproariously funny. Find out why the pupils don’t want to be “promoted” and why Miss Quackenbush has to find some way to get rid of them.
Gabriella Hertz will direct “Game of Tiaras” during the 7th grade and above session, from 9 am until noon Monday through Friday. Accordig to Don Zolidis’s script, “When you play the Game of Tiaras, you win or you die.” Ominous or ridiculous? You be the judge. When the aging king of a Magical Kingdom (England) decides to split his empire between his three daughters, Cinderella, Belle, and the Snow Queen (who in no way resembles a copyrighted character), terrible tragedy ensues. Terrible, hilarious tragedy… Combining the gut-wrenching plot twists of “Game of Thrones,” and the soul-numbingdespair of Shakespearean tragedy, this adaptation of “King Lear” will leave you dying with laughter as the body count mounts.
Rehearsals will begin on Wednesday, June 1 with performances set for Saturday, June 25 at 7 pm and Sunday, June 26 at 2 pm.
The registration form can be downloaded or a printed copy can be picked up from the Matthews’ gallery. Registration forms are due May 29.
For more information about the Froelich Young Actors Guild, the rehearsal schedule, the shows, or how to register, visit matthewsopera.com/yag21. The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center can also be contacted during business hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, at 605.642.7973.