All the town’s a stage for kids with dramatic urges

By David F. Rooney

Enthusiastic and highly motivated, Anita Hallewas wants to instill new confidence in local children by teaching them the art of acting.

“For most kids it’s really about gaining confidence,” the vibrant young Australian drama teacher said in an interview last week. “I let kids experiment and make mistakes and I always tell them that what happens in drama class stays in drama class. I don’t want anyone making fun of someone else outside of the class.”

A new immigrant to Canada, Hallewas is offering week-long classes to local children up to the age of 16 through her Drama Summer Day Camp Program until Aug. 20.

The July 13-17 class ¬†for kids between the ages of 10 and 12 is an Introduction to Drama intended to teach kids the skills necessary for performing on stage. The July 20-24 class teaches 13- to 16-year-olds how to think on their feet and be creative through Theatre Sports. July 27-31, kids seven-to-nine years of age will enjoy Play, Puppetry and Masks. From Aug. 10 until Aug. 14, pre-teens 10-12 will learn How to Improvise by exploring new skills and having fun. The last class of the year will be a Commedia Dell’arte Skills Session and Workshop for teens between 13 and 16. This is a style of comic theatre developed in Italy in 1600s and still practiced today. It runs Aug. 17-20.

“Students will learn about all the stock characters, choose a specialty character and train for a final performance as this character,” Hallewas said, adding that the results can be hysterically funny.

If you are interested in enrolling a child in the program please contact the Community Centre at 250-837-9351.