Youth Theater returns on Feb. 1

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Eureka Springs Youth Community Theater, which offers free classes on performance skills, is returning for its fourth season.

Open to ages 11 through 18, the winter session will consist of eight free-standing workshops on consecutive Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting Feb. 1. No registration is required. Students can come to one or more session with no commitment, according to Doug Phillips, co-director.

"We understand that some students have a lot of obligations and cannot make it to all the classes," he said. "We don't want them to miss out, so we've designed this new format to accommodate our students' schedules."

The Winter 2014 workshops, held in the First Methodist Church hall, will focus on improvisation, creating a character for the stage, story writing and puppetry. The workshops include games and activities that build stage skills. Theater classes promote self-confidence and public speaking skills, and give students experience on stage and behind the scenes.

Phillips and Josh Mollenkamp, a graduate theater student, started the program last January as Mollenkamp's thesis project. It proved so popular that they held summer and fall sessions. A culminating performance was held at the end of the first two sessions. The fall classes focused on the production of a one-act play, scheduled for early December, which was cancelled due to weather. Phillips and Mollenkamp are alumni of the College of the Ozarks, where they were involved in the theater program.

Eureka Springs Youth Community Theater meets in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church, 195 Huntsville Rd. (Hwy. 23 S.) in Eureka Springs (across from Autumn Breeze restaurant). There is no religious component to the program, which draws public school and home-schooled students from Carroll County. For more information, call Phillips at 417-773-2741 or go to the Youth Community Theater Facebook page.

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