The Playmakers’ after-school youth theatre program gave its first participants the chance to be in a play, as well as to learn more skills that will prepare them for the future whether or not they make a career in theatre.

The after-school program is one of the three elements of The Playmakers comprehensive youth theatre program.

   “The artistic elements are primary in the after-school program,” said Suzanne Boles, administrator and instructor, “because a goal is to build a youth theatre “company” made up of talented students. Through this program, the students will be given life-long skills that help them become confident and articulate, find it easier to make friends, accept new challenges and explore new directions.

   “It was a busy semester,” she added. “The students learned a lot of mime and movement by participating in a play for all Grove fifth grade classes, ‘Wiley & the Hairy Man.’ This play is presented each fall to the fifth graders as part of The Playmakers’ in-school program.   Mid-school girls got a taste of dramatic acting when they presented ‘The Secret Life of Girls,’ a play about cyber-bullying, as part of The Playmakers’ 7th grade in-school program.”

   The students not only learn by doing plays, but The Playmakers’ approach combines, acting, play analysis and presentation with design skills, theatre movement and dance, and lighting and sound technology.  The students in the first semester tackled a curriculum filled with physical movement and improv necessary for becoming better actors. They will translate these skills into various types of characters during the second semester. They also learned the components of a good story, especially those found in folk tales, and their adaptation into a play. Two students learned about lights and helped with the set up and operation for the productions at the school.

   A new semester begins January 5th, 2009.  Students may attend up to four days, from 4:00-5:30, Monday through Thursday. 

“New students will have a 30-minute period each day, learning some of these same skills, but will participate with current students during the rest of the time period,” added Ms. Boles.

   The program takes place at 311 Grand, a building just east of City Hall. A semester fee of $80 is due upon enrollment, or $60 if a student enrolls for fewer than four days.  Those wishing to become an “Off Broadway Trouper,” please leave a message at (918) 786-8950 or email: 1groveplaymakers@sbcglobal.net. 

   The initial year of the program is made possible with assistance from a Local Government Matching Grant through the Oklahoma Arts Council.