MINOOKA — Birds throwing bacon. Six- and 7-year-old leading actors. Zombie prom dates. It was all found in Minooka during spring break.
A group of 13 young people, ages 6 to 13, not only learned what “stage right,” “line” and “projection” meant during the children’s spring theatre workshop at Three Rivers Arts Council, but they also learned the subtleties of being on stage in front of an audience and tapping into original ideas, even if the ideas were about bacon, acting, and zombies.
Camp director Ta-Tanisha Jordan had students painting sets, developing costumes and props, as well as acting in the short plays that they had written. In the span of a year since she had done the first children’s theatre workshop, Jordan could see the improvement in the work of campers that returned for a second theatre camp experience.
“After the second day, when I got home and said [to myself], “’By God this works,” Jordan said when she introduced the students’ final performance.
Parents and friends who attended seemed equally impressed by skits, which ranged from a remake of a Barbie-themed video to comedy; a skit that combined prom with the zombie apocalypse.
“Dad, no, I don’t want you to chaperone my prom,” said the daughter in that skit. The audience found out that turning dad down was not a good idea.
Jimmy Andreano, age 10, created a clever, if not absurd, theme in “The Baconator,” and ended up being pelted by bacon and then chased by a flock of shrill, screaming birds.
Jimmy’s mother, Kelly, said she’d signed Jimmy and his sister up at the last minute for the three-day workshop held at TRAC in Minooka’s former fire protection district station.
“They [her children] seemed very excited, and it was wonderful to see how much they accomplished in a short time,” Kelly said.
During dress rehearsal for their skits , Jordan had to quiet the behind-the-scenes actors, who were chatty when they were supposed to be backstage watching and listening for their cues. But the quality of the voices and the acting was remarkable once the students took to the stage.
Andreanna Haritipoulos, who as a sixth-grader was among the oldest campers, took the lead in several skits, and said she really loved the three-day workshop.
Hannah Jordan, a high school junior who was helping, said she wished that his kind of program was offered when she was in grade school.
“I never had this as a kid. This is really nice,” Hannah said.
Children who want to have a longer theatre experience can sign up for a June 17-28, 2013 workshop with The Three Rivers Arts organization.
For more information, call (708) 374-8282. The theme for the summer workshop is the Confetti Kids’ version of Les Miserables.