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Summer workshop theater in Hancock serves up experience for kids

July 10, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - Although Ian Lancaster is planning to be a chef, he figured a theater workshop would be a great way to spend three days this summer.

And as it turned out, it was perfect casting when Ian's skit served up two portions of "ham" - figuratively.

Actually, Ian and several other youths wrote, staged and performed their own version of "The Three Little Pigs" during the workshop, which was sponsored by the Hancock Arts Council at the new Performing Arts Center in the Hancock Community Center.

The "ham" was symbolic of the first two little pigs served up when the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed and blew their houses down.

Ian and his fellow performers wrote a script that began with a courtroom scene in the auditorium, then moved to the "huffing and puffing" sequence on stage.


"I wanted to see what it was like to perform," Ian said.

And that's what Ian and 14 other young people did 9 a.m. to noon daily from June 30 to July 2.

Students learned the basics of acting, directing, choreography and blocking. They also helped write a script they performed on the last day of the workshop.

The program was open to students from Hancock and Southern Fulton school districts. The $10 fee included a workshop T-shirt for each participant.

"It's been a ball," said Hannah Norris, 12, who played the lead in "Little Red Riding Hood," the second production in the workshop.

Hannah received a paper at school about the workshop and told her parents she wanted to do it. "I've been in plays before," she said.

Hannah and Ian said they enjoyed working on their plays as well as the tableau and "freeze frame" photograph sessions.

Pantomime was also an integral feature - juggling, tightrope walking, being lion tamers and riding a bike.

Carolyn Mottern, an art teacher who has directed the past several theatrical performances for the Southern Fulton School District, was in charge.

"They learned how to be quiet backstage, how to deliver lines loudly on stage, where to position props so the audience can see and how never to turn their backs to the audience," Mottern said.

She also instilled in the young actors to think on their feet and actually listen to what they were saying. "If you forget a line, just finish it out so it makes sense," Mottern said.

The participants ranged in age from 9 to 12. They made their own costumes and decided on sets in addition to writing the scripts.

On the final day, family members were invited to attend the two performances, complete with their own videocameras.

The Hancock Arts Council was established in 2001 and is dedicated to the encouragement of art in all of its forms.

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