The Brooke County Arts Council will sponsor two youth drama workshops during March and April. One workshop will be conducted for elementary school students, and the second will be open to middle school and high school youth.
According to Arts Council President Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, each workshop will consist of six, two-hour sessions. All sessions will be on Saturdays, on March 17, 24, and 31, and April 14, 21, and 28. Most sessions will be held at the Brooke Hills Park Clubhouse.
Barnhart noted that the cost of the workshop is $20 per session, but those paying in advance for all six sessions will receive a $20 discount, for a total cost of $100.
The workshop was designed by Diana Mendel of Wellsburg, a retired teacher whose play for young actors, "bf f?" had its world premiere last summer at the Brooke Hills Playhouse.
Mendel said that the workshop for elementary students will focus on "play and the imagination." She added that the six sessions for the younger group will emphasize "listening, following directions, respecting others and their ideas, and acknowledging the importance of teamwork."
The sessions will feature instruction in elementary stage direction and movement and will explore expression and articulation, according to Mendel. The children also will study characterization, using Kent R. Brown's play "Goonie Bird Greene and Her True Life Adventures," based on Lois Lowry's popular children's book, "Goonie Bird Greene."
Mendel said the workshop for middle school and high school students will place an emphasis on "advanced stage direction and movement, improvisation, miming, characterization, and vocal projection."
Mendel added that the older group of students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of technical theater, including set design, lighting, sound, stage managing, directing and producing. Using the script of J.M. Barrie's play, "Peter Pan," students will study characterization, according to Mendel.
"It is hoped that all those involved with the drama workshops will take a part in the (Brooke Hills Playhouse) summer season whether it be in an acting, technical, or assisting role," Mendel said.
Julia Barnhart emphasized that space is limited for the two workshops, and spots will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. To reserve a spot or obtain further information, parents or guardians should contact Diana Mendel at (304) 737-3279 or Barnhart at (304) 737-1301.
The Brooke County Arts Council is the parent organization for the Brooke Hills Playhouse, which will celebrate its forty-first summer of continuous operation this year.