Children exercise their creative side in workshop

Published 12:26 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lions and tigers and gnomes, wizards, princesses and, if it’s anything like last year, a pretend football player or two will all be in attendance this Saturday morning at the Turnage Theater.

I know you are thinking, “Halloween has already passed, Patch.” This is about something much bigger than a holiday; this is about children exploring their dramatic sides. When they attend East Carolina University’s Celebrating Family through Theatre workshop for ages 5-11 this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., that is exactly what they will be doing.

Throughout the morning, children will participate in making their own set, costumes and props and in writing original scripts and exploring acting and movement, all within the framework of the theme of family. All their diligent — and fun — efforts that morning will culminate in a captivating performance of their original work at 12:30 p.m. for parents, family members and friends on the stage at the Turnage Theater.

Faculty and students in the Theatre for Youth and Theatre Education programs at ECU’s School of Theatre and Dance have been planning this workshop since September. They are now looking forward to working with children to create magical memories. Amber Spencer, an ECU senior in the Theatre for Youth and Theatre Education programs, and I will be joined by a talented team of eight people. We are ready and excited to combine our talents to help the children create a new and magnificent theatre piece.

In all of our previous workshops, the final product has been filled with the fun and imaginations of the talented young dramatists, and that is exactly what we expect this Saturday, too.

If you have a young one — or more — whom you believe would like to participate in this exciting opportunity to create and perform, then you should know that it is not too late to sign up your children and purchase your tickets. You can get your tickets now ($20 each) at, by calling 252-975-1191 or at 150 W. Main St., Washington, to ensure your children have a spot in the workshop. If you cannot download a registration form or you’re unable to pick one up at the Turnage box office, there will be forms available when you drop off your children Saturday morning (don’t forget to send them with a snack).

I do hope to see your little ones at the Turnage this Saturday morning by 9:30 a.m., ready and willing to have fun, get creative and discover the talents inside us all. Space is limited, so register now.

Patch Clark, a Washington resident, is director of the Storybook Theatre troupe, a division of East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance.