‘From Betsy to Broadway’ — Bonnie Kate Community Theater to host youth theater workshop series

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023

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By Lynn J. Richardson

Is there drama in your household?
For families who have children who are interested in acting or theater production, an upcoming series of workshops may be just the ticket.
The Bonnie Kate Community Theater, sponsored by the Friends of the Bonnie Kate, will present a series of eight two-hour workshops beginning August 12, for youth, ages 5-11; and teens, 12-18.
The workshop series, “From Betsy to Broadway” will also culminate with a showcase performance the first weekend of December.
Two-hour sessions will be held on Saturdays, August 12 and 19; September 9 and 23; October 14 and 28; and November 11 and 25. Youth sessions will be 10-12 a.m.; teen sessions are from 1-3 p.m. each day. The first workshop – August 12 – will be held at the Bonnie Kate Theater, 115 South Sycamore Street, Elizabethton. Subsequent workshops will be held at Southside Christian Church/School, located at 1610 Southside Road, Elizabethton.
Each of the workshops will open with theater games and activities designed to help students hone the skills they need on stage. Topics will include auditioning, monologues, production design, dance and movement, music and voice, improv and scene work.
Bonnie Kate Community Theater president, Renee Christian, will be leading the camp, along with other members of the Bonnie Kate Community Theater.
Christian has over 30 years of theater and education experience. As a teacher for 30 years, she has also acted or served as director for numerous school productions, community theater and summer stock theater.
She says she is especially excited to provide an outlet for creativity and artistic opportunities to the community’s youth and teens.
“Since moving here almost three years ago from Ohio, I have been so impressed with the amazing talent we have here in Elizabethton, and I am excited to be able to put together a team of gifted performers and teachers to help our young people develop their talents,” Christian said. “These workshops will offer both enrichment and education. The young people who take part in the workshops will learn a lot about the performing arts, and, since the emphasis will be on active participation, they’ll have a great time doing it. Also, anything that we can do to help bring our wonderful downtown area and the historic Bonnie Kate Theater to the attention of a new generation, is something worth doing.”
“We will also be providing each student with binders, notebooks, arts supplies and useful information they will be able to refer to long after the workshops are over,” Christian added.
There will be a rehearsal for the final showcase performance the week of November 27-30, culminating with an evening performance by teen workshop attendees on December 1 at 7:30 p.m.; and a youth workshop attendee performance on December 2 at 2:30 p.m.
The cost for the workshop is $150. However, families enrolling more than one child will be eligible for a discount. The first child’s cost will be $150 and each additional sibling will pay $120.
Members of the Bonnie Kate Community Theater will be teaching various aspects of stage craft, acting, production design, movement and voice. Each session will begin with games and fun activities, designed to educate youth and teens in theater arts.
This is just the beginning, Christian says, who added that if these workshops prove successful, she would like to offer them every other year, and in the off years, produce a children’s’ production on the Bonnie Kate stage.
Pre-registration is encouraged as spaces are limited. For more information about the program, how to sign up and discount eligibility, please contact Renee Christian at rschristian63@icloud.com or call 740-361-4447.

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