Workshop teaches teens acting tips

See young people as they take this unique class, and learn the thespian’s secrets from professional actors.

John Armor and Cecily Overman lead the class “Acting Workshop for Teens”. Here, Cecily is demonstrating an emotion.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
While many parents would like their teenagers to learn how to “act better”; a class at Midland Library showed kids how to become better actors.

“Our two-hour class is more than a teaching session,” explained John Armor of the group Actors-to-Go, part of Portland’s Artists Repertory Theater. “First, we teach a concept, and then we demonstrate the concept to illustrate the point. Finally, the teens act out a scene, to demonstrate what they learned.”

As part of the class, teen actors Paula Urban and Jeremy Schmidt improvise a scene. The exercise is to demonstrate who their characters are, by acting — instead of merely telling the audience of their characters’ intent.

Whether or not these kids become great actors isn’t important, Armor told us. “Learning some improvisation and role-playing techniques helps young people learn how to project confidence, build creativity and find their inner voice.”

Students talk about the scene they just watched, and try to describe unspoken messages acted out by Urban and Schmidt.

The framework for the class was based on the acronym “CROW”  defining

Character, describing Relationships, moving toward an Objective and giving a sense of Where (location).

There’s a lot more than books, at your Midland Library. Check our Community Calendar and see what you can learn this month!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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