Theatre at the Center Announces New "Education Through Theatre Program," Runs 1/11- 3/3/2010

In celebration of their upcoming milestone 20th anniversary season, Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana, one of Chicago's top musical theaters, will host seven exciting educational workshops for the young theater enthusiasts of Chicagoland. These workshops will provide students of all ages with the environment to explore the world around them through theatre, to have fun with creative expression while building self-esteem, and to expand communication and creative problem solving skills. These winter 2010 classes will begin January 11th and run through March 3, 2010.

The workshops include:

-CIRCUS, CIRCUS, THE MUSICAL; Performers will join the clowns, jugglers & lions in search of a new ringmaster in this entertaining mini-musical. A final presentation will be performed on the Theatre at the Center stage. This workshop is for first and second grade students and will be held January 11 through March 1, 2010 on Mondays from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The instructor will be Peter Vamvakas.

-CREATIVE PLAY; This fun filled sixty minute class will give students an introduction to the magical world of the theatre through cooperative games, creative scene work and introductory work with scripts. This class is for second and third grade students and will be held January 11 through March 1, 2010 on Mondays from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. The instructor will be Patty Bird.

-IMPROV FUN!; This fun and high paced class will offer loads of laughs and enjoyment for your child. The class involves creating characters, playing theatre games and lots of creativity! This class is for third and fourth graders and will run January 12 through March 2, 2010 on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The instructor will be Charlie Scanlon.

-JUNGLE PARTY TONIGHT, THE MUSICAL; Performers will explore the sights and sounds of the mighty jungle in this entertaining mini-musical. A final presentation will be performed on the Theatre at the Center stage. The class is for third and fouth graders and will run January 11 through March 1, 2010 on Mondays from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. The instructor will be Peter Vamvakas.

-MASK WORKSHOP; Bring your creativity with you to class! Learn about mask making and how they play an important role in theatre. Design and build one of your very own and then bring it to life through movement and staging. Discover the posture, sounds and personality of your mask through specialized mask theatre exercises, guided play and improvisation. All materials included with the cost of tuition. This workshop is for third through fifth grades. The class will be held Mondays, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. January 11 through March 1, 2010. The instructor will be Patty Bird.

-MONOLOGUES; The benefits of a Monologue class are numerous. It can help students with public speaking and oral reports, as well as offer a place to let loose and create a magical piece of theatre. Students will learn the creative process that goes into a monologue, the basics of delivering it and the staging that goes along with it. The workshop is for sixth through eighth grades and will be held Wednesdays from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. January 13 through March 3, 2010. The instructor will be Charlie Scanlon.

-MOVEMENT FOR ACTING; Students will explore the Laban Theory of Movement technique and incorporate it into performance art. This enables the actor to be creative through movement, personal expression, communication and other physical qualities on stage. Students will memorize a short monologue in which they will discover the previously learned movement qualities through the use of text, vocalization and performance. By the end of the course, the students should not only have an understanding of Laban's Theory of Movement, but will also have experienced plenty of fun while finding out new things about themselves and the use of their bodies for creative expression. This workshop is for ages 14 and up. It will be held Wednesdays from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. January 12 through March 2, 2010.

There is limited space available for all workshops, so early registration is recommended. Tuitions range from $100 - $125. For more information regarding these classes, which also make a perfect holiday gift, contact Charlie Scanlon at 219.836.9073 or visit www.TheatreAtTheCenter.com.

Patty Bird is an accomplished actress, instructor and director. She received her B.A. in Theatre/Television Arts, concentrating in Elementary Education and English. Patty has been with Theatre at the Center just over two years and has been teaching, acting and directing for over 15 years. She received a NIETF lead actress nomination for the following roles at Chicago Street Theatre: "Joan" in MURDER IN GREEN MEADOWS; "Beth" in A LIE OF THE MIND; "Poopay" in COMMUNICATING DOORS; and "May" in FOOL FOR LOVE at Dunes Summer Theatre. Her favorite directing credits include CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS, FUDDY MEERS, JUNGALBOOK and GO, DOG. GO!.

Charlie Scanlon recently graduated IUN with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. While there, he was very active in The Children's Theatre department, acting in several children's shows and working behind the scenes in several others. He also taught children's theatre workshops as a student at IUN. Charlie is very active in Northwest Indiana Theatre and is cofounder of the Grand Calumet Players, a local theatre company. Charlie is currently working on his elementary teaching certification.

Jason R. Wroblewski has a Bachelor of Science in Theatre from Illinois State University and has been performing for twelve years in and around Chicago. He has extensive training and experience in movement, stage combat and performance. At Theatre at the Center Jason has been involved in over 21 productions: on stage, backstage, offstage and above stage as a performer, electrician, carpenter, stage manager, assistant stage manager, spotlight operator and stage crew.

Peter Vamvakas has been a musical theater instructor/director with the Northbrook Illinois Park District for 10 years and at Apple Tree Theatre for two years. He has appeared on stage at Theatre at the Center, Chamber Opera Chicago, Shakespeare on the Gree, Illinois Theatre Center, NB Musical Theatre for Young Audiences and Apple Tree theatre to name a few. His television credits include appearances on the Discovery and History Channels and the Animal Planet network.

Founded in 1991, Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home, The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is conveniently located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago.

For more information regarding the mainstage productions at Theatre at the Center, or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 219.836.3255 or Tickets.com at 800.511.1552. Group discounts, available for groups of 20 or more; and gift certificates, perfect for all special occasions are also available by calling the Box Office at 219.836.3255. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com.

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