Middle schoolers learn theater basics in apprentice program
Professional lighting designer, CJ Winnell, explains a lighting instrument to students. (Courtesy photo / May 1, 2013)
The goal of the apprentice program is to generate respect for theater as an art that requires many types of talents, whether visual design, sewing, technology, construction, or business. It also gives students a chance to learn they can use their talents and interests to be of service to others, in this case, the directors and cast of the Petoskey Elementary Enrichment Show. The show is under the direction of Public Schools of Petoskey teachers, Karen Mazzoline and assistant, Stephanie Asiala-Gross.
Experienced mentors volunteer their time to teach students the basic creative processes, theories and practices involved in each backstage area. For example, local set designer William Santos guided students through the process of set design. Santos is the owner of Monarch Garden and Floral Design and he designs many of the sets for the Little Traverse Civic Theatre. Susie Johnson, producer for The Young Americans, spoke with students about the business of producing.
Johnson and Santos are just two who volunteered their time to help. Other mentors worked with students for directing, props, publicity, costumes, makeup, sound and lights. Once students have been given an overview, they practice what they've learned on crews for the elementary enrichment show. The work of this year's apprentices can be seen in the upcoming production of "The Little Mermaid," which runs Thursday through Sunday, May 2-5, at the Petoskey High School auditorium.