New Year, New Plans – Next Act Theatre

New Year, New Plans

by Grace DeWolff

Next Act is already looking forward to our summer education plans! In the hopes of increasing enrollment, we’ve adjusted programming to accommodate the very busy lives of our students: the Next Actors program will be shortened by a week, and an additional two-week opportunity will be added to the end of the summer in our new Special Skill Development program. I’m excited to tell you all about it!

We’ve noticed that our teens struggle to commit to six weeks of programming (five weeks of developing a show, and one week of touring that show to local communities) so we have shortened the duration of Next Actors. We will still have a full week of touring to local organizations; we are simply removing the intimidation of a blank page from the writing process and instead letting our students work with a theme. “The enemy of art is the absence of limitation,” Orson Wells is alleged to have said. The ideas, specific topics and every word of the script will still be written by our students; we’ll just give them a more limited springboard for their topic. With 2020 being an election year, the topic this summer will be “Democracy.” If our local teens were founding a new country today, what would it look like? Find out in July!

The Special Skill Development program is totally new this year. The current education project of delivering Shakespeare into classrooms has sparked a lot of interest, and students with limited summer availability will now have access to two weeks of intensive Shakespeare study. It is my hope to culminate the two-week program into a free public performance of “Shakespeare in the Park, Jr.” Plans are still being worked out, but everyone at Next Act is passionate about the new project.

Thank you for supporting Next Act and all our past and future students!