'What do we think?' said Sharon Redman to her young actors last Thursday at the summer acting camp at the Nick Rodriguez Center. Hands quickly raised, opinions were voiced about Calloway's performance and Redman pointed out, 'You see, it is not what you say but how you say it.'
In the two-week camp, Redman, who is the Artistic Director for Antioch Rivertown Theatre, taught acting techniques, stage positions, memorization and improvisation through a variety of exercises and short skits.
To develop their memory and concentration, the group of 14 sat in a circle on stage and took turns naming items they imagined to be inside a grandmother's trunk. However, they had to name the items mentioned by each student before them. The game lasted two full rounds, leaving the last person with 27 objects to remember.
The game also allowed Redman to point out unrealistic choices during acting improvisation.
'Use creativity, but keep it real,' she said, adding that if they keep it real, they too will believe and it will show in their performance.
'Acting takes a lot of memory, all your senses and knowing your position on stage,' said Jason Pitak, 10. 'This camp is really great because of all the acting we get to do.'
'I have never done this before and I liked it,' said Marian Becker, 11. 'There are many rehearsals and it is a lot harder than I thought it would be.'
For many of the students, this was their first time in an acting workshop, so Redman helped them to develop natural abilities, imaginations and the 'actor's instruments': emotions, body movements, facial expressions and the five senses.
'This has been a delightful class and there is a lot of energy,' said Redman. 'We do two children's plays a year, and 'Pocahontas' is coming up. Hopefully, a lot of the kids from this class will be interested in auditioning.'
'This is the best acting camp I have been to and I want to come back,' said Bartek Rulzynski, 12, adding that he has big dreams of becoming a famous actor.
'The Legend of Pocahontas' by Vera Morris opens Nov. 3, and will run for three weekends. For information on auditions and the Antioch Rivertown Theatre, visit www.art-theatre.org or call 473-4741.
The other actors in the camp were Alyssa Baker, Elva Sullivan, Cheryl Jessup, Luke Donart, Emma Lahman, Alyssa McCarty, Jelani Johnson, Kelsey Weisbrod, Taylor Gonzalez and Jeaneen Johnson.