Whether it’s a carryon, a suitcase, a traveling trunk or — as in the case of Mary Poppins which flies into Denver’s Buell Theatre May 1-5 — a carpetbag, it takes a little organizational magic to pack when you are constantly on the road. So we turned to Madeline Trumble, who plays everyone’s favorite nanny to get some helpful, handy tips.
How many markets will you travel to during your run as Mary?
Oh my goodness, I think I’ve traveled to about forty different cities, in three different countries. And we still have a few stops left!
“To show our simple skill, that is the true beginning of our end.” These Shakespearean words are spoken by the character, Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a play performed by teens, this summer at the Denver Center Theatre Academy (DCTA). They are comical words, but apply to every modest performer once he/she has had a real taste of being on stage. Just ask our teenage summer actors.
Many of the teens started at DCTA in their pre-adolescent years and have continued to come back again and again. What is it about the stage that calls them back? Could it be the educators and directors with their fun approach to the teaching of expression? Is it the chance for students to broadcast their own creative input? Perhaps, it is the opportunity to be a part of something, with others who share their passion. Whatever the reason, the outcome is a marvelous cast of students.
Each summer, the new students have just as much fun as the old. Emerging from different communities and backgrounds, they come together in a friendly atmosphere to create as a team. At the end of the summer, they implement this teamwork in their choice of video production or onstage performance. Whichever route they choose, the students leave with a sense of accomplishment.
In video production, known as Your Tube, teens are encouraged to use both their entertainment and real-world knowledge to brainstorm ideas using storytelling tactics such as settings, plots, outlines, etc. The classes are small and concentrated to roughly a dozen students per class, which allows all students participation in the discussions as the class collectively composes a storyline.
While participation is prevalent, the students also are given exercises and individual tasks where they apply critical thinking and problem solving. They become masters of improvisation by the end of the class. After a long structured year at their regular schools, students thrive on the chance to be creative while learning. Teens have the chance to be a kid again with fun activities and games, but use adult-like knowledge to expand on depth and creativity.
At the end of the week, the students get to take home a reward for their efforts – the final masterpiece. With graphic design and imagery, the created story is rehearsed and put to production on a video that students can take home and share with family and friends.
As the Your Tube teen class learns how to speak to the camera, the teen performance class learns how to speak to the audience. How do they learn this? Through the guidance of their active mentor, the director. With an assistant director for extra critiquing, the director ensures the students learn as much as possible within the two-week production.
All students are involved and receive every opportunity for performance preparation. They eagerly adopt the play as their own by enriching it with emphasis on dictation, action, emotion and placement - components strengthened by the director’s navigational dexterity. Constantly refreshed with breaks and rotation, the students are attentive throughout the day.
For some teens, the stage has a magnetism that repeatedly pulls them in. For others, the stage is an adventure awaiting the hero to explore its boundaries. Consequently, at DCTA, it is no mystery why the students come back week after week, year after year: because here, everyone plays a part!
The Denver Center Theatre Academy is now enrolling for its Fall term. Please call 303.446.4892 or go to http://www.denvercenter.org/education.