Starting today, area youth are invited to explore the basics of theater and drama during a free week-long workshop at the Hauser Junior-Senior High School Auditorium.

“I’m hoping to help kids to know that this is something is not necessarily easy but can spark your creativity,” says Pete Law, former Hope Elementary School teacher and workshop organizer. “If you aren’t an athletic person it can help you to find an outlet or if you are a sports person you can still find an outlet.”

From 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day, participants will gather at the Hauser Auditorium to learn the basics of acting, improv, dancing, and writing, Law says. Each day will focus on a different area of theatre and lessons will be taught by a guest instructor.

The workshop is open to youth in first through twelfth grades, Law says.

The mornings will be dedicated to the lessons for the day’s given theme and during the afternoons the youth will apply what they’ve learned, Law says.

During lunch break each day the students can take part in the free lunch program at the school, he says.

The workshop, made possible with a grant from the Hope EDIT Committee and the Hope Town Council, will culminate in a showcase on Friday that will be open to parents and friends of the students.

“I just hope the kids get the experience to know what it is like to be on stage,” Law says. “And know things about the stage, as well as to utilize their creativity with writing and acting to help them in everyday life.”

The idea for the workshop has been around for a while, Law says. Its genesis was a two-hour long acting workshop he hosted at WILLow LeaVes of Hope on a Saturday morning last year.

Law hopes the older students help bridge the divide between the students’ age groups.

“When we did the Christmas play in December, we had kids that were sophomores to fourth grade and it was neat to see how the older kids were able to talk to the younger kids and vice versa,” he says. “It didn’t take any prompting from me, they just became a team. When you are in a play it doesn’t matter your age, you are all a team.”

Violet Dickerson, Law’s former colleague at Hope Elementary School and long-time friend, has great hopes for the workshop.

Last year, Dickerson started a drama club at St. Peters in Columbus with great success and hopes this workshop offers students the same positive experience.

“I hope that it gives children an opportunity to be creative and shine and to maybe experience something they haven’t had an opportunity to experience that reveals the talents they have,” she says. “And that it will inspire them to continue acting and being creative.”

Dickerson says she will be attending the workshop to assist Law and help students with the various lessons and activities each day.
Working with youth is a wonderful opportunity that she truly enjoys, Dickerson says.

“What I enjoy most is seeing the light in them,” she says. “Drama is such a different realm that it is hard to fail because you can be so authentic and be yourself.”