Sessions begin in late February at Rose Lehrman Art Center
Feb. 3, 2009
HARRISBURG – Young thespians who take advantage of the spring 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 2008 Best Children’s Theatre Program in the area.
Youth ages 5-17 will find a series of five different camps in which to explore the mysteries, joys and art of theatre, from the “Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” to “Theatre Explorers” and discover various dance styles. They also can learn the combination of singing, acting and graceful movements in “Musical Theatre.”
The camps are held at varying times late February through May 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 theatre arts or a returning participant, the curriculum is updated each year and structured so that individual ability levels are challenged, says Brenda Eppley, Theatre for Young People director and professor in HACC’s Theatre Department.
The Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus offers a performance and instruction facility featuring a theatre, a studio theatre, movement studio, green room and make-up lab, as well as a scene and costume shop, just like the real theatre world.
A jewel of the program is the quality of the teaching staff that “consists largely of professionals with a master’s degree in theatre (as well as) instructors with bachelor’s and associate degrees and equivalent professional experience,” says Eppley, adding they are assisted by HACC theatre majors chosen for their ability to nurture young people interested in theatre.
In addition to the five studio camps, a one-day specialty workshop, “Theatre Game Day,” is scheduled 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, for children ages 7-9 and 10-13. Groups will spend two hours participating in some of the most popular theatre games in the 18-year history of the Theatre for Young People. Cost is $15.
The classes include:
§“Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” for ages 7-9 runs from 5:30-6:45 p.m. Mondays, March 2-April 20 for $75. 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, Feb. 28-April 25 for $75. 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 runs 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and a separate class for ages 13-17 runs 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 28-April 25, 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.
§“Dance Styles” for ages 9-12 runs from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesdays, March 3-April 21, 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.
§“Musical Theatre” for ages 10-12 runs 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Saturdays, April 18-May 16, for $65. Learn basic vocal production to maximize sound, song presentation and musical acting basics. Each week students will focus on dance and movement training as they rehearse a choreographed scene from different musical styles.
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 theatre experience.
“TYP serves ages 5-18 and is a year-round program,” says Brenda Eppley, professor of theatre and program director. “We have Saturday Studio Classes during the fall and spring semesters and 14 one-week summer theatre 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 and local theatres, as well as for private individuals.
“Basically, if it involves theatre training, TYP will custom-design a program for any organization seeking high quality theatre education,” Eppley says, adding the program simultaneously emphasizes artistic development, interpersonal skills and leadership – skills that benefit students whether they choose to continue in theatre arts.
This year’s Theatre for Young People production for the Theatre Outreach program is Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” by Aurand Harris and directed by Eppley. The group will perform for school groups Tuesday-Friday April 21-24, with a public performance at
1 p.m. Saturday, April 25, in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center.
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