This winter break, a new group of children will get to experience the programming Orpheus Theatre has to offer.
From Monday through Friday, the Oneonta company will be offering a workshop for children in grades first through sixth. The Winter Break Theatre Workshop is held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Throughout the five-day workshop, participants will play theater games and learn theater crafts and skills. The participants also develop their own characters and write a play together.
“Throughout the week they develop both their characters and the play,” said Sarah Lynn Serafin, executive director of the Orpheus Theatre. “It really encompasses all that goes into putting on a play, all while having fun.”
Serafin said the enthusiasm of the participants helps with the crafting of the play’s story.
“Children are incredible individuals, their imaginations are vast,” Serafin said. “The ideas come streaming out of them.”
The workshop culminates with a performance of the play the participants have created over the course of the workshop. This performance will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Foothills Performing Arts Center. The performance will be free and open to the public.
Serafin said the workshop isn’t just for extroverts.
“Really anybody who has shown something that leads a parent to believe that they might be perfect on the stage (should attend),” said Serafin.
She also said that a number of students enter the theater’s workshops clutching their parents arms.
“By the end of the week they’re up on stage performing,” Serafin said.
She said the workshop provides participants the opportunity to make new friends, particularly those outside of their school districts. She also said a number of participants in Orpheus’ children’s programs have continued on with their participation in theater, appearing in Orpheus’ main stage productions and beyond.
“We have people who started in our workshops who are on national tours,” Serafin said. “We’ve grown a lot of talent here.”
The workshop costs $185, plus $100 for each additional family member. Financial aid is not available for the workshop, but is for other programs. Food is not provided, and participants are asked to bring a bag lunch.
“We don’t want to prevent anybody from having this experience,” Serafin said. Those interested in learning more about the workshop, or who wish to register their child, can call 432-9392.
Children who complete an Orpheus Theatre workshop can also join Orpheus’ KaTs Theatre Troupe. This troupe, for children and teenagers, meets once a week throughout the school year, and participation is free. The troupe will be putting on the play “Alice in a Winter Wonderland” at the Foothills Performing Arts Center on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be $5.
Other upcoming events include Orpheus Theatre’s performances of the musical comedy “Nunsense” at the Otesaga on March 7 and 8, auditions for this year’s main-stage production of “Shrek” on Feb. 28, and the Mardi Gras Gala & Silent Auction on March 1.
“It’s not our biggest (event) but it’s definitely our most fun,” Serafin said.