On April 2nd, close to sixty girls ranging in age from 7-13 marched into the Dakota Prairie Playhouse to take part in a day full of workshops with members of Drama Club and a select few “Anything Goes” cast members.
To start off the day, troops from Chester, Madison, and Flandreau filed into the auditorium to hear their itinerary for the late morning. After Kelly Macleod explained how the day was planned out for them, she divided up the girls into three groups. Each group was given two college students, or “floaters”, that stayed with them throughout the day taking them to each workshop. Among these floaters were Adam Kleinsasser, Amanda Welbig, Ryan Burkhardt, Jamie Grimes, Jacinda Cerwinske, and Jason Svatos.
When they girls came to each workshop, they were shown a different behind-the-scenes part of theater. The three workshops included Make-up/Costume led by Britney Timm and Molly Miller, Writing led by Alyssa Massella and Tawny Jones, and Dancing/Movement led by Ethan Schafer and myself with the assistance of Donna Rice. (That’s right, I helped out with this event!)
The Make-up/Costume workshop exposed the girls to simple make-up techniques such as applying blush and mascara from Britney while also giving them the opportunity to put on pretty dresses and look like princesses with help from Molly. Floaters Ryan and Jacinda also lended a hand while their respective groups were in the chairs.
Writing your own play may seem a little bit of a daunting task, but when the girls were put in the hands of Alyssa and Tawny, it was a piece of cake. Starting with stories the girls were familiar with, such as Cinderella or Snow White, they changed and twisted them into their own. Tawny mentions, “I liked how excited they were to be there and to be making up their own stories. They asked all sorts of questions on how it is to act on stage and were generally interested in the art of theatre.”
When they came to the Dance/Movement, it was a little overwhelming at first as I had never showed anyone something I had learned before. Actually, I was thankful that Kelly stepped in to help me out to show them a little section from a song in the show called “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” Ethan, however, had no difficulty leading the girls in a tap session from the title song from “Anything Goes.”
After the girls made their way through all three workshops, it was time for them to rehearse their scenes with lights and sound. Aaron Klimes ran the soundboard while Nick Wall took control of the lights. Taking the girls’ ideas for each of their scenes, the guys gathered sound bits and programmed some lighting effects to make the most out of each performance. The final result? Three completely different and original performances by some very talented little girl scouts.
Drama Club plans to host this event again next year. This would give Education majors an opportunity for volunteer hours as well as some experience working with kids. If you have any questions or would like to know more about this opportunity, please contact Kelly Macleod at Kelly.Macleod@dsu.edu