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July 15, 2014

It's OK to be goofy at annual Teen Theatre workshop

DUNCAN — Teen Theatre participants were encouraged to act goofy and not to be embarrassed.

Veronica Hodgson, this year’s Teen Theatre director, said her goal was to get the youth out of their comfort zones and to get them to have fun as they learn. Teen Theatre is a workshop through Duncan Little Theatre where youth learn about various parts of putting together a performance, from acting to set construction, from makeup to lighting cues.

“This is the first time I’ve gotten to work with this group,” Hodgson said. “There’s a lot of talent.”

Teen Theatre participants will put together the production “The Piped Piper of Hamelin,” which they will perform for an audience Aug. 2. Registration for Teen Theatre will continue throughout this week. One Monday, 22 teens were registered for the workshop.

Hodgson said she looked through a lot of scripts, as provided by DLT Board vice president Sharon Burum. Of those, “The Piped Piper” stood out because of its mixture of comedy and darkness.

“It was interesting,” Hodgson said. “There are moments of comedy and a little bit of a dark side. It will be an interesting challenge.”

Many of this year’s participants are returning participants, including Claire Amaya and Maverick Williams. This is Amaya’s second year in Teen Theatre, and Williams’ third year.

Amaya said she was excited to work with Hodgson, who she has worked with closely through Hodgson’s Studio.

“I heard that my music, vocal coach was going to do it this year,” Amaya said. “She’s an inspiring woman.”

In the 2013 Teen Theatre play “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Amaya was cast as Groovy Monahan, a character known to wear tie-dyed shirts. She said her experience with that play made her want to return to Teen Theatre this year.

Williams also had fun in last year’s Teen Theatre workshop and performance. He said this year will probably be a bit different than working with BethAnn Hough, who directed Teen Theatre last year and off an on for the past seven years.

He said Hodgson has already proven herself to be a good director through her studio, and he’s excited to see what she will bring to Teen Theatre.

“I like her,” Williams said. “She’s organized and she knows her stuff.”

Throughout the first day of the workshop the students played performance-based games to get familiar with acting a part in front of a crowd. At the end of the day, they gathered in a circle to begin reading through the script.

Williams said he’s looking forward to this year’s show because it provides him with more stage experience.

“This could really be a serious profession for me,” he said.

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