All their world’s a stage
It’s a moment that never gets old for Terri Runnalls.
That second when the youngsters in her class — many of them wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into — suddenly get it.
“You can see it,” Runnalls said.
“It’s a new world for them and their eyes brighten.”
And, that’s when the head instructor with Western Canada Theatre (WCT) knows the connection is made, often one that will last through each child’s life.
Every Wednesday after school, students leave their elementary and secondary schools and head to River Street — in particular, the the Yacht Club that is also the site of theatre class, an expansion of WCT’s Stage One Theatre School
Stage One has always had classes during spring break — and registration is open for the upcoming week away from regular school — as well as through the summer.
The after-school program includes two levels: A beginner for those just discovering the theatre and an advanced for those ready to put their skills to work.
In the spring, these students will present Stuart Little.
“It’s just an absolutely wonderful group of kids,” Runnalls said.
“A lot of the kids, when they first come in, they’ve never taken an acting class so it’s quite an experience for them.”
They learn more than just being comfortable on stage, Runnalls said, because there’s so much more to acting than memorizing a script.
They learn time management, for example, as well as teamwork and refining all their creative skills.
“These are hard-working kids and they’re amazing.”
They tend to keep coming back, too, taking in the summer sessions of introductory, production and musical-theatre classes.
Those areas are also central to the spring break week, with intoductory classes for eight- to 12-year-olds and the teen fundamentals class at the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre, 7 West Seymour St. and musical theatre for those eight to 18 at Nuance Dance Studio, 253 Victoria St.
Runnalls will tech the introductory course, Seanna James has the musical theatre and a teacher has yet to be chosen for the fundamentals.
Registration information and forms are online at wctlive.ca/stageone.htm.
Registration for the summer program will be posted later this year.