Sessions begin at Rose Lehrman Art Center on the Harrisburg Campus
Oct. 2, 2008
HARRISBURG – Young thespians who take advantage of the fall lineup of studio classes at HACC will discover why the college’s Theatre for Young People earned the Central Penn Parent’s designation as the Best Children’s Theatre Program in the area.
Youth ages 5-18 will find a series of 10 different camps in which to explore the mysteries, joys and art of theatre, from the “Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” to “Theatre Explorers” and discover jazz, tap and various dance styles. They also can find out why William Shakespeare – that English playwright who lived 400 years ago -- is considered by many to be the greatest playwright of all time in “Understanding Shakespeare.”
The camps are offered weekly through Dec. 20 at the Rose Lehrman Art Center on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Pennsylvania’s Community College. All classes are divided by age group. 
Whether a student is a novice in theater arts or a returning participant, the curriculum is updated each year and structured so that individual ability levels are challenged, says Brenda Eppley, a professor in HACC’s Theatre Department and starting her 18th year as director of Theatre for Young People.
The Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus offers a performance and instruction facility featuring a newly renovated theater, a studio theater, movement studio, green room and make-up lab, as well as a scene and costume shop, just like the real theater world.
A jewel of the program is the quality of the teaching staff that “consists largely of professionals with a master’s degree in theater (as well as) instructors with bachelor’s and associate degrees and equivalent professional experience,” says Eppley, adding they are assisted by HACC theater majors chosen for their ability to nurture young people interested in theater.
The classes include:
·                            “Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” for ages 7-9 runs from 5:30-6:45 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 30-Dec. 11 for $80. Using props and costumes from the theatre storage area, students will explore the wonderful myths and legends of wizards, elves, fairies and magical creatures while learning the basic principles of acting and the state. Parents will be invited to the final class to share what the students’ imagination has created.
·                            “Theatre Explorers” for ages 5-8 runs from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 25-Dec. 13 for $80. Students will let their imaginations run free as they use creative play and movement to encourage artistic expression. They’ll develop skills in concentration, self-awareness, physical expression and teamwork through the use of creative dramatics and movement.
·                             “The Acting Experience” for ages 9-12 and a separate class for ages 13-17 run from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 4-Nov. 22, both for $85 each. Designed for the novice, this class introduces basic acting techniques and training, and is a good foundation for future theatre classes.
·                            “Jazz Dance” for ages 13-18 runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 13-Nov. 24, and for ages 10-12 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 14-Nov. 25, both for $70 each. Students will explore movement and learn the basics of dance. No prior experience necessary. Wear loose clothing. Students may dance in bare feet, socks or jazz shoes.
·                            “Tap Dance” for ages 13-18 runs from 6:45-7:45 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 13-Nov. 24, and for ages 10-12 from 6:45-7:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 14-Nov. 25, both for $70 each. Students will learn the basics of this fun style of dance while increasing confidence and rhythm. All levels welcome; come to the first class with a pair of tap shoes.
·                            “Dance Styles” for ages 9-12 runs from 12:45-2:15 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 25-Dec. 13, for $85. This class allows students to explore different dance styles ranging from hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, Latin and musical theatre. Each week will focus on one particular dance style, which will result in a performance the final day of class. No previous dance training required.
·                            “Understanding Shakespeare” for ages 13-17 runs 9:30-11 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 11-Dec. 20, for $95. Students will look at the works of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights of all time, and “try on” a few characters such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth.
For more information and to register, go to for printable forms. Or, call 780-2521, ext. 4 for a brochure. Class size is limited so early registration is strongly encouraged.
Fast facts: About TYP
The Theatre for Young People was created 18 years ago under the umbrella of HACC’s Theatre Program as a learning and outreach initiative for area youth. The program provides an affordable venue for students to gain exposure to the thrill of the theater experience.
“TYP serves ages 5-18 and is a year-round program,” says Brenda Eppley, professor of theater and director of the program. “We have Saturday Studio Classes during the fall and spring semesters and 14 one-week summer theater camps on the Harrisburg Campus.”
TYP also has an off-site program tailored to meet the needs of individual organizations, with programs in schools, at borough and community parks and recreations sites, local theaters, and for private individuals.
“Basically, if it involves theater training, TYP will custom-design a program for any organization seeking high quality theater education,” Eppley says, adding the program simultaneously emphasizes artistic development, interpersonal skills and leadership – skills that benefit students whether they choose to continue in theater arts.
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