Act Out Theatre Group hosts online and in-person theatre workshops in Dunmore starting Aug. 24
From a press release:
COVID-19 has taken its toll on many businesses, but those in the arts have been particularly hit hard. Act Out Theatre Group in Dunmore has modified its upcoming schedule to allow some events to carry on so that children and teens can continue to pursue their creativity during this challenging time.
“Instead of putting on a typical fall musical, we’ve changed things a bit,” said Dan Pittman, owner and artistic director of the theater.
“With many uncertainties coming with the fall, we didn’t feel that this was the best time to stage a full musical production. Instead, we are doing an entirely online musical workshop and a directing workshop that is both in-person and online.”
“The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley: Online Edition,” is for all ages, and Pittman said that children, teens, and adults have registered for the workshop, which begins on Aug. 24. The musical is based on the Jeff Brown children’s book character Stanley Lambchop and follows his worldwide antics.
“The Director’s Chair” is for ages 14-20. Participants will learn the fundamentals of directing, direct actual scenes, and perform in them. The workshop with be online and in-person.
“We are fortunate to have a large indoor space at Act Out, as well as ample outdoor space,” Pittman explained.
“We are able to socially distance participants when necessary and require the use of masks when inside or if distancing becomes an issue.”
Participants will also have a temperature check, he continued.
The online musical and directing workshops are both new for Act Out. Finding ways for young people to socialize, as well as continue doing what they love, is important, Pittman said.
“There are so many things happening right now. We are hoping to provide a piece of normalcy and interactivity in as safe an environment as we can.”
Erin McLaughlin of Sweet Valley has participated in several Act Out Theatre Group (150 E. Grove St., Dunmore) productions and is currently registered for the directing workshop.
“I’m doing the directors workshop to further my theatre experience outside of acting,” she explained.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping out behind the scenes, so I thought the director’s workshop would be a fun opportunity for me.”
Despite the pandemic, Act Out has remained active with other online classes, a socially distanced Annual Summer Revue at the Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area in Scranton, and a recent production of “Miscast Cabaret.”
Originally scheduled to be performed in March, “Miscast Cabaret” was shut down due to the pandemic. The cast, under the direction of Kalen Churcher, worked together online throughout quarantine, and once Pennsylvania moved into the yellow phase of reopening, they ran a few rehearsals and ultimately decided to record the songs throughout the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and release it online in July. The full show can be seen below.
Act Out Theatre Group members will be performing an outdoor version of “Children of Eden” in September, and the theater is expanding to offer arts and education classes this fall.