Acting Out

By Mason Mattox

    We are all encouraged to find our true callings and nurture them to the best of our abilities. Now, a few students have done just that through the Young Actors Workshop offered at the lower school building on Wednesday afternoons. I soon found myself witnessing and learning all of the details that go into stage production. Everything ranging from improv 101 to stage directions, and beyond. When asked, “Why do you love acting?” fourth grader Ava Leggett quickly said, “Because it’s fun…we do fun things, act out things, and be different characters.” These characters, as I would witness, would range from angry stepmothers to thirsty beach-goers.

 

The group participated in games such as “Freeze,” where the actors would act out a scene, and those watching could “freeze” two improvizationalists in their place, and would then exchange places with them while starting a new scene. Another game included “I am walking” in which three people were selected to participate in a scene where they each were required to continue walking, without breaking charact

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Young Actors Workshop participants follow instructor Amy Harbin’s lead in an improv game. Photo taken by Mason Matox

I asked, “Why do you love acting?” and Madisyn Barnhill responded, “Because we get to create a lot of chaos. Every day I go to school and learn new things.” This “chaos” and learning seemed to be entertaining as the class was filled with much laughter and friendship among peers.

 

This workshop also taught the importance of proper characterization. The participants discussed famous characters such as Pocahontas and John Smith and what made them unique. A strong focus was placed on individuality and putting a little piece of your own personality in the character that you become while acting.

 

Young Actors Workshop was founded by parent Daune Pitman; the current group consists of instructor Amy Harbin, fourth graders Addison Gray, Gracen Barsanti, Laila McDevitt, Madisyn Barnhill, and third grader Ava Leggett. They are always looking for new members, especially people who share the same thrill for acting!

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The workshop concludes for the day with a hands-up celebration proclaiming a job well done. Photo taken by Mason Mattox.