A group of aspiring thespians has been busy the past two weeks honing their craft in an August acting camp. The program is operated by Tacoma Arts Live, formerly known as Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. The youth practice their drama skills in rehearsal spaces in the organization’s downtown complex.
Katie Lappier is director of education at Tacoma Arts Live. She took a few moments to speak about the program and its participants while sewing buttons onto costumes, one of many extra tasks Lappier has taken on to make sure everything runs smoothly.
The program began on Aug. 5, with the classes and dress rehearsals wrapping up on Aug. 16. The youth range in age from 8 to 18. Many live in Tacoma, with others coming from Spanaway and Puyallup. Earlier this summer, 38 youth were enrolled in a similar drama camp. There are 38 participants in the current session, with some of them having also having completed the program held in July.
The youth are split into two groups that will stage two plays: “Alice in Wonderland” and “A Wrinkle in Time.” A panel of youth chose these two plays to perform.
Some of the youth have prior drama experience, while for others this is their first taste of acting. She said the program is useful for experience performers, “but it is also meant for first-time performers.”
The classes begin at 9 a.m. and run until 4 p.m., giving the youth considerable time to hone their craft. “They live at the theater,” Lappier said. “It is a really intensive process.” She thinks the experience is good for the youth as it helps them learn skills they can utilize later in life
The performances will take place on Aug. 17 at Theatre on the Square, located on Broadway between South 9th and 11th streets. They will be held at 2 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. The cost to attend is $12, with children under 5 admitted for free.
Lappier said this venue works well for aspiring actors. “The acoustics are great for projecting,” she remarked.