SUMMER THEATER WORKSHOP TO PERFORM THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE THIS WEEK
By Miranda Purcell
Updated August 2 (original Post July 31, 2015) -- The Summer Theater Workshop at North Shore is well underway, and all have been working their hardest to get ready for their two performances: Live Out Loud, a production featuring contemporary songs from new artists, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy. The workshop students, both cast and crew members, have for weeks, through a completely hands-on learning experience, studied the world of theater and will demonstrate their prowess as performers and stagehands through these productions.
Along the way, students have been coached by director Terry Berliner, who has spent over 20 years in the professional theater world. Berliner aims to give a better understanding of how to work in the real world, and believes that students learn by doing.
The students arrived four weeks ago, and ever since they have been studying the ins and outs of the theater world and atmosphere. They started off by learning about the audition process, and then auditioned for roles in the two productions. And not all of the students are on the stage. Some opted for behind the scenes roles, gaining valuable experience in the production aspects of the theater, such as set design, lighting, and sound.
When asked why a theater education is important, Berliner remarked that “theater empowers people.” She commented on how it develops creative thinking in a more professional environment, and that in addition to teaching teamwork, it also stresses doing one’s own part in order to support the team. “It really utilizes a lot of gifts,” Berliner stated. “It creates a sense of community.”
The history behind the Summer Theater Workshop at North Shore is a long one, running for 42 years before it was canceled in 2003 because of budget cuts. However, thanks to the support of North Shore Arts Angels, it was brought back this year.
Acting producer Julia Brennan also spoke about the importance of both a theater education, and a summer theater workshop.
“Since many students are not able to fit theater into their school year schedule, this workshop gives the opportunity to participate in the theater,” she said. “Especially with older students, between coursework and other obligations, many don’t have time to try theater and hone their skills. This workshop allows them to explore the world of theater when they have more free time.” Brennan added that a theater education allows students to “be resilient with their work, be creative, and have a great time!”
On how the workshop was going, Brennan commented that the students were working very hard in order to make the productions great, and that they were really coming together. “It’s amazing to take something from a concept and see it come to life.”
The students brought down the house with Live Out Loud this past Friday and Saturday and will stage The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on August 7th and 8th at the North Shore High School Theater. Come check it out!
Purchase reserved seat tickets for both shows today at www.summertheaterworkshop.org or by phone 516-945-9910.
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