Sessions explore all aspects of theatre
Feb. 23, 2011
HARRISBURG – HACC’s Theatre for Young People’s spring classes are more than telling stories, acting and creative movement. They are also about unlocking imaginations with props, costumes and theatre games.
Youth ages 7-14 will find a series of four different camps in which to explore the mysteries, joys and art of theatre, from “Theatre Explorers” to “Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” and discover theatrical expression. They also can craft and design a unique piece of theatre in “Original performance Piece Workshop” and beginners will be introduced to basic
acting techniques and training in “Improv: The Great Art of Acting Without a Script!”
The camps are held Tuesday evenings or Saturdays at varying times in March through early 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.
Young actors have the advantage of participating in these workshops with a large number of professionals with a master’s degree in theatre as well as instructors with bachelor’s and associate degrees and equivalent professional experience. They are assisted by HACC theatre majors chosen for their ability to nurture young people interested in theatre.
The classes include:
  • “Theatre Explorers” for ages 7-10 runs from 9-10:15 a.m. Saturdays, March 19-May 14 for $75 (no studio class April 30). 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.
  • “Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” for ages 7-11 runs from 10:30-noon Saturdays, March 19-May 14 for $80 (no studio class April 30). 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.
             Students who register for “Theatre Explorers” and “Magical, Mythical Story Theatre” receive a discount, $135 for both studio classes.

  • “Original Performance Piece Workshop” for ages 11-14 runs 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesdays, March 22-May 10, for $95. Students bring their creative thoughts and dramatic personality to the workshop. With the guidance of theatre specialist, Janet Bixler, the participants will craft and design a unique piece of theatre.
  • “Improv: The Great Art of Acting Without a Script!” for ages 11-14 runs 12:30-2 p.m. in two sessions: Session A: Saturdays, March 19-April 9; Session B: Saturdays April 16-May 14, for $80. Learn about characterization, interpretation, improving communication skills, thinking quickly on your feet, movement, and developing imagination while participating in improvised activities. Course content evolves based upon the skill level of participants.
For more information and to register, go to for printable forms. Or, call 717-780-2521, ext. 4 for a brochure. Class size is limited so early registration is strongly encouraged.
Fast facts: About TYP
  • This year’s Theatre for Young People production for the Theatre Outreach program is “Wiley and the Hairy Man” by Susan Zeder and directed by Brenda Eppley, HACC professor of theatre and director of the TYP program. The group will perform for school groups Tuesday-Friday April 25-28, with a public performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center. Admission is $8.
  • The Theatre for Young People was created 18 years ago, now a branch 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.
  • Serves ages 5-18 and is a year-round program with Saturday Studio Classes during the fall and spring semesters and  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.
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