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July 13, 2014

DLT’s Teen Theatre allows kids to work together

DUNCAN — Duncan Little Theatre’s Teen Theatre will begin their summer workshop on Monday. This year, the workshop will last until Aug. 2, with the production “Pied Piper of Hamlin” as their performance.

The workshop is designed for students grades six through high school. Veronica Hodgson, director for Teen Theatre, said students involved this year will learn theater techniques from a group of specialists.

“Shannon Arrington will teach students about stage makeup and design. Melissa Godfrey will work with the kids on characterization and scene work. Shane McClure will work with students on the basics of stage combat,” Hodgson said.

Students will receive firsthand experience on how to produce a play from top to bottom, participate in set building and design, lighting design, make up and costumes, backstage work and of course acting.

Hodgson believes that theater provides several essential skills children and teens need throughout their life.

“It is impossible to overestimate the value of theater for children and teens. Theater teaches students about teamwork, and about unselfishness. It allows them to be creative, and forces them to use their brains,” she said. “Producing and acting a show requires discipline and physically hard work.  Most importantly, theater pushes kids to be courageous. A few of these students may go on to have acting careers, but all of them will have to give a presentation to a class, or pitch an idea to a board of directors, or give a sermon, or maybe speak at a political rally. As adults, they will fall back on the courage and self-possession they learned in theater.”

After several months of piecing the Teen Theatre workshop together, Hodgson said Sharon Burum was monumental in helping choose the script.

“She is a virtual fount of wisdom when it comes to appropriate literature for kids,” Hodgson said. “She gave me about 50 scripts to look at. I read each one of them and fell in love with ‘The Pied Piper of Hamlin.’”

Hodgson said that the production was chosen for a variety of reasons. She said that the script accommodates both male and female actors while providing challenges for students who are knowledgeable for acting. However, students who may be brand-new to theatre will also have an adequate amount of roles.

 Students interested in joining Teen Theatre can print out an application at www.duncanlittletheatre.com. Hodgson said that students can bring the application with them at 9 a.m. Monday morning to the Simmons Center Stage. While tuition is $60, scholarships are available for those in need. For more information, visit DLT’s website or contact Hodgson at580-583-2668.

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