This summer, Lake Worth Playhouse, a Prime Time expanded learning opportunity (ELO) provider, held rehearsals with children and youth at three summer camp programs participating in the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System to present the community outreach show, Coming Alive.
“What a difference a year makes to finally be back in the classroom with the kids and have a LIVE SHOW! Come Alive was chosen as a theme…a celebration of returning to some normalcy in the world we live in.”– Deshon Allen, Teaching Artist at Lake Worth Playhouse
The performance served as the culmination of several rehearsal sessions with Lake Worth Playhouse with teaching artists Carl Barber Steele, Deshon Allen and Laura Graham, who taught the youth different theatrical numbers that included singing, dancing and acting. For many of the children who participated, this was their first experience participating in a show, which provided a valuable learning experience for youth at For Acts of Kindness Community Development Inc, City of West Palm Beach – Coleman Park Community Center and City of Greenacres -Teen Programs, as they fostered new skills including memorizing lyrics and dance steps, voice projection and theatrical expressions on stage. Children also learned the importance of teamwork, discipline and focus, as they worked together to learn their routines, and dedicated their time to rehearsals and practicing at home.
The benefits of theatre involvement for youth can be seen, even after they leave the stage, as participants grow into a more confident version of themselves through the process leading up to showtime.
“During this process, I observed children who overcame their shyness and feelings of self-doubt or awkwardness, as they were able to freely express their artistic selves. The program inspired some of the youth to continue participating in the performing arts with a new-found confidence and for all, to feel more comfortable expressing themselves in group situations. My favorite part of the process was seeing the joy and pride on the children’s faces as they bowed to their audience after the finale…thrilled with their accomplishment!”Laura Graham, Teaching Artist at Lake Worth Playhouse
Children participating in the Lake Worth Playhouse Multicultural Arts Program learn acting, dancing and improvisational skills, gain performance experience; and most importantly, build a sense of community and individual empowerment with the added bonus of fun. The ELO provides children and youth an opportunity to explore various aspects of musicianship, world cultures, emotions, linguistics and teamwork. Each session includes activities that develop a natural singing body alignment, freedom of breath, development of intonation, ease of personal vocal freedom using music from various periods and genres. Benefits of singing include the enhancement of social, mental and emotional health of participating children and youth.