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Public Theatre’s summer program for teens to stage “How to Act Like a Child”

Participants in this year’s program are (l. to r., from front) Easton Dundore, Delaney Jacobson, Amy Fryda, Ashley DeSchamp, Alyssa Siggins, Abigail Dundore, Paige Gagnon, Elia Morgan, Autumn Tracey, Ayden Timberlake, Bobby Kane, Jacob DeMerchant, and Calvin Dundore.

The Public Theatre’s Professional Theatre Training Program for Teens will present “How to Act Like a Child: Lessons in NOT Being a Grown-up,” a compilation of hip and entertaining stories inspired by children’s book author Shel Silverstein and others, on Friday, July 28 at 6 p.m. Also included in the performance will be several songs spotlighting the vocal skills the students are learning.

Featuring an auditioned group of 13 students ranging in age from 11 to 16, participants in the program have been hard at work the past three weeks taking daily classes in the fundamentals of acting, singing, voice and speech, and stage combat. The Public Theatre’s intensive summer program is a unique alternative to other “drama camps” in that it is taught exclusively by theatre professionals able to offer professional-level insights and standards.

“Instead of having the single focus be putting on a play, we put our focus on developing the skills needed to begin to create truthful life on stage,” says Public Theatre Co-Artistic Director Janet Mitchko. “Our goal is to build each student’s skills in concentration, talking, and listening, and to teach them to think about themselves and acting in a new way. Although we do finish the session with a short performance piece, the goal of the piece is to showcase the skills they are learning, and to reinforce a new way to think about performing.”

The presentation, which is free of charge and open to the public, will take place on Friday, July 28 at 6 p.m. at The Public Theatre, located at 31 Maple Street in downtown Lewiston. For more information, call 782-3200.

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