Thursday, April 12, 2012

What’s Going on in the Academy this Spring: K5 – 4th Grade

By Jenny Loeffler

The flowers are blooming and young, smiling faces are learning the joys of theater. This can only mean one thing… First Stage Theater Academy is back in session for the spring!

Both teachers and students alike are more excited than ever to jump back into transforming their lives through theater. And whether they learn at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, or the Oconomowoc Arts Center, one thing stays the same: life skills are taught through stage skills through classes for students of all ages, cultures, and abilities.

Here are the classes that the younger students are taking this spring:

Tuesdays & Thursdays at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center:

K5 – 2nd Grade Voyages
Students will dive into the roles of Entomologists and discovering a whole new world under the ground with bugs, bugs, and more bugs! By going undercover as bugs, the students will explore that world from their perspective. During the class, the teacher will challenge the students to use their imaginations to create a world that to us, as people, will be larger than life. (taught by Jason Knop)

3rd – 4th Grade Scene Study
In Scene Study, the students will explore some basic stage skills and then begin working on character creation and relationships between those characters based on the theme of bugs. The students will work on scenes not from plays, but from bare bones empty scenes where they will have a chance to create a unique scene with their own ideas and characters. (taught by Jason Knop)


Wednesdays at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center:

K4 – K5 Voyages
This class will be an introduction into the world of theatre, as students will learn to focus their abilities and overcome obstacles through drama. The students will learn life skills through stage skills by immersing themselves into the exciting world of bugs! Each student will have the chance to create their own “bug” character. They will also be challenged to explore physical expression and become more into touch with their emotions as they become a character and go on an exciting adventure out into the tiny world of insects. (taught by Mary Kelly and Chris Feiereisen)

1st – 2nd Grade Adventures
Class 1:
This semester, the students will continue to work on community, while examining the complicated network of bugs. Through the teachers’ stories, and others from around the world, students will build upon the values of respect for one another, teamwork, and community. Throughout the ages, people have been telling stories about bugs. Let’s see what the BUZZ is all about! (taught by Shannon Sloan-Spice and Chasten Glezman)

Class 2: This CD Adventures class will explore bugs and the crucial role they play in the animal kingdom. We will explore the West African Folktale ‘The Fierce Creature’ and the stories that inspired First Stage’s upcoming musical, DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY. The students will continue their acting studies through focusing on memorization, as well as problem solving, community, and empathy. (taught by Katie Cummings and MaryFran Stefanich)

3rd – 4th Grade Scene Study
The students will have a buggin’ good time as they explore goal setting, relationships, and objectives. Scene study class will give students a chance to work on stories and scripts to build theatre and teamwork. (taught by Tina Brown and Raven Dockery)


Saturdays at the Oconomowoc Arts Center:

K5 – 2nd Grade Adventures
Put on your hard hats and boots! In this class, the students will be discovering how all types of bugs live together by building their very own bug village! Using creative movement and improvisation, they will become the bugs that make up our town and, just as humans do, our bugs must work together to build the safest, friendliest, and coolest community out there! (taught by Chasten Glezman)

3rd – 4th Grade Scene Study
Every bug is different in this scene study class, and so are the stories that come with them. This class will use storytelling and creative drama to change stories and create new worlds for the bug characters in them. (taught by Chasten Glezman)


Saturdays at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center:

K4 – K5 Voyages
Focusing on the characters of Worm, Spider, and Fly from the upcoming First Stage production, the students will focus on storytelling, puppetry, and song. They will create their own adventures for this funny trio of friends. Theatre games and creative drama activities will be used to expand our creativity, confidence, and teamwork. (taught by Jennifer Adams and Raven Dockery)

1st – 2nd Grade Adventures
Students will dive into the roles of Entomologists and discover a whole new world under the ground with bugs, bugs, and more bugs! By going undercover as bugs, the students will explore that world from their perspective. During the class, the teacher will challenge the students to use their imaginations to create a world that to us, as people, will be larger than life. (taught by Jason Knop)

2nd – 3rd Grade Quest
The students will work together through improvisation to explore and create their very own retelling of ‘Little Miss Muffet.’ The children will create detective characters as well as play characters in the story. They will collaborate to solve the mystery surrounding the spider and little Miss Muffet. They will both create and solve the mystery as they go along, answering the question: did the spider really scare Miss Muffet off her tuffet? (taught by James Boland)

3rd – 4th Grade Scene Study
In this scene study session, the students will focus on character development and making huge, specific choices as an actor. Using scenes from the play DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY, the students will explore the hilarious situations these three bugs find themselves in. The class will laugh their way through these scenes by figuring out how to portray them through voices and bodies while building confidence and finding a great deal of joy in performing. (taught by Jennifer Adams and Raven Dockery)

First Steps
In this class, both parents and children will find new ways to use drama at home. Creative play is such a great way to bond and this class will give the parents and children tools to play with each other at home, in the car, and wherever life takes them! (taught by Tina Brown)


Notice anything “buggy” about these class descriptions? This spring’s Academy classes are based upon the upcoming First Stage production, DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY, opening April 13 at the Marcus Center. For tickets, visit
www.FirstStage.org.

Do any of these classes sound fun to you? Consider signing up for the Summer Sessions. The Summer Sessions are offered June 18 through August 10, with one, two, three, and four-week sessions offering classes (depending on age) from beginning to advanced. Theater Academy classes are offered at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and Oconomowoc Arts Center. For more information and registration, visit
www.FirstStage.org/TheaterAcademy.

No comments: