Youth who have an interest in theater and performing arts are invited to participate in a new drama and performing arts club provided by the Surry Arts Council. The first meeting of the club is this Thursday at 4 p.m. in the lower level of the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
Participation is free and open to young people in grades 4-8.
Local theater supporter and former Disney employee Rebekah Taylor will serve as the creative director for the club. Taylor said the idea for the drama club began with the last Surry Arts Council production, A Christmas Story, which involved many local youth.
According to Taylor, “The club really stems from the kids’ desire to have something of this nature. We needed to provide opportunity for the talent that exists in this area. After performances, the kids are so excited to start the next one - they were already looking for the next audition.”
Since there are age requirements for the current Surry Arts Council production of Welcome to Mitford, the idea for the drama club was born.
As a long-time supporter of the Surry Arts Council, Taylor is excited for this new opportunity, not only for the kids, but for the community as well.
“I’ve always loved the theater and I’m bringing in a philosophy inspired by my time at Disney. Walt Disney believed in giving people with dreams the opportunity to realize them and develop their skills — this is what we want to do with these kids. As Walt says, ‘if you dream it, you can do it’ and if you have the opportunity to participate in something like this, you never know what it will lead to in the future.”
Taylor envisions the club members not only being involved with Surry Arts Council productions, but participating in community events as well. “You might see these kids downtown, acting out a production or entertaining. They are going to exceed expectations.”
Tanya Reece, executive director of the Surry Arts Council said she was excited when Taylor stepped up to lead this group. According to Reece, “The kids will be a great resource for us and we want to involve them in many aspects of what we do here — we can give them opportunities to participate in many areas. They may usher, decorate, and watch auditions. There is a show in progress all the time and there are lots of opportunities to participate.”
The members of the club may have an interest in set design, acting, singing, dancing, or all of the above.
The drama club will host guest speakers from the community and workshops focusing on different areas in the performing arts such as successful auditions, accents and dialects, character sketches, improvisation, lighting and sound, set design, and more. They will also create original productions.
“Some kids aren’t interested in sports or other outlets provided by the schools. If we don’t take the time and use our resources to give this young talent an opportunity, then we do them a disservice as a community,” said Taylor. “No experience is required to be in the club — just a desire and perhaps a dream.”
The club is open to any youth in grades 4-8 and it will meet twice a month, on Thursdays, at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Enrollment is ongoing, but space is limited. For more information or to register, call the Surry Arts Council at 336-786-7998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.