Thank you to the Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA for sponsoring this post.
They have a wonderful summer theater program for grades 1-12.
Learn more here.
Get to know Greater Boston Stage Company Director of Education, Julia Nelson! Julia is an accomplished theatre arts educator, actor, and musician who has a passion for teaching the artists of tomorrow.
Read this special Q&A to learn more about what youth can learn from the theatrical arts and how students in grades 1 – 12 can be a part of the Young Company’s Summer Festival theatre programs in Stoneham, MA. Then get involved at greaterbostonstage.org/
What can kids learn from theatre?
I believe it’s true that “art imitates life,” and I feel that’s why theatre is such a versatile teaching tool: anything can be theatre, and theatre can be anything. Especially empathy! There is no more compelling way to teach someone empathy than to teach them the practice of taking another perspective. There is something in theatre for everyone; the performers who strengthen their public speaking, confidence, and coordination, and who express themselves through music and movement; the director and choreographer-types who learn leadership and communication; the stage and production managers who practice critical thinking, organization, and gain all kinds of technical experience. And no matter their role, everyone involved in a production, without exception, has to learn to act as part of a team and learn the value of their own personal, unique contribution to that ensemble.
What might a typical day of Summer Festival look like?
A typical day for Overture starts with a warmup and a dance class. After a snack break, there is a long block for acting and games before lunch. After that, I like to lead a guided cool-down followed by a music class. We always end with “crafternoon” followed by a quick circle meeting where everyone shares their favorite part of the day. A typical day for Acts 1-3 will look pretty similar: the day begins with a full-ensemble warm-up followed by rehearsal blocks with a snack break and games in between. After lunch, each group will have another rehearsal block and then a workshop. The workshops are built into the program as a “change of scenery” to give the actors a short break from rehearsal. These are opportunities for students to work in small groups focused on various disciplines. Workshop themes typically cover a wide range of topics including dance, music, devised theatre, improv, college prep, and more! The day ends with another full-ensemble cool down or game.
What type of student would make a great fit for The Young Company?
I’m looking for curious thinkers, those who have something to say, are willing to feel deeply, and make big, bold choices… and if any of that is a work-in-progress, come join us and we’ll learn it together!
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