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Community Matters

Keyano Theatre Company’s Drama Force: A Young Actors' Summer Intensive Program with Director Roxanne Dicke

May 1st, 2016

By Eden Boutilier

For three years Keyano Theatre Company’s Drama Force program has been engaging local youth, ages 10-17, with an exciting theatrical learning experience and creative performance opportunity. Participants of this summer intensive learn performance skills in a variety of disciplines such as voice, movement, dance, acting and improvisation, as well as the dynamics of technical theatre.

Over the three week program, participants advance their creative knowledge and have fun in group classes led by industry professionals. Back for her third-year, Roxanne Dicke is one of the amazing mentors and the director behind this youth program.

“I have been directing with Drama Force since it began,” said Roxanne. “Aladdin was our show in the first year, and the Little Mermaid was produced in the second year. This year will be another great play with our Drama Force actors! I love working with all the young actors as well as the incredible creative team involved in bringing the production to life.”

Roxanne explains that Drama Force is an incredible opportunity for the youth in Fort McMurray to receive musical theatre training and to create a full show from the rehearsal process to production.  

“Drama-Force is a full intensive, so while the young actors are rehearsing the musical, they are also learning skills in the three areas: acting, singing, dancing. It is both an educational opportunity and a rehearsal process,” explained Roxanne.

Roxanne is no stranger to directing at Keyano Theatre, she can also be found leading productions of the 4-Play Drama Series and Stage 2. She explains that in comparison to these other community productions, which take months to create, Drama Force is a very compressed process as the students have full days of work and only three weeks to learn the choreography, music, and lines.

“Theatre involvement provides amazing benefits for children and teens. They learn valuable skills in team building and problem solving every day,” she said.

The intensive program asks participants to learn a lot in a short amount of time, they go home and practice, learn lines, and prepare for the next day so they exhibit a phenomenal work ethic as well. The youth take the play to performance, and they gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence in themselves and each other.  

“The most amazing part of Drama Force is watching these kids rise to the challenge of mounting a full production in three weeks.  They bring incredible energy and focus every day, and are so supportive of one another throughout this process,” said Roxanne.

Drama and Theatre offer an excellent experience for children and teens, and is something that Roxanne believes should be part of all school curriculum.

She explained: “The fact that there is an opportunity like Drama Force for youth in Fort McMurray over the summer is incredible and shows great commitment on the part of Keyano Theatre and its sponsors.”

Since its first year Drama Force has been presented by Suncor Energy; making it possible to bring this performance, and dream, to life for youth looking to get on stage.

“This year’s group can anticipate a fantastic company of young actors, opportunities to learn and build upon drama skills, and an incredible amount of fun,” said Roxanne. “I can’t wait to meet this year’s troupe!”

The 2016 Drama Force title will be announced soon! The Program will run from July 14 to August 5 and performance dates are August 5 and 6. Participants can register at the Keyano Box Office, boxoffice@keyano.ca, 780 791 4990.

 

Tags: camps, Teens, Tweens

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