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Fun, educational workshops at Porter Theater

Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Having some fun at one of the workshops are (from left) Samantha Nicholson, 15; Ann Nicholson; Ethan Shultz; Dayton Nicholson, 13; and Shirley Rosenberger.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

An event that is truly fun yet educational may be difficult to find, but one visit to the Project Talent Theatre Workshops at the Porter Theater in Connellsville, and visitors may change their mind.

The fun and interesting workshops are being offered at the theater in the Greater Connellsville Area Community Center and are open to anyone who would like to learn more about acting, prop- and scenery-making, set painting, tech work and other avenues that relate to theater or public presentation.

“We wanted to offer something for kids who are not only interested in theater, but who may be a little shy or quiet,” program co-director Shirley Rosenberger said. “Working with workshops such as these really help kids with their public speaking, with their confidence and with their self-esteem. Those are things that you usually don't learn in a regular classroom and we want to be able to have kids in the area have the opportunity to take advantage of this. It can really change them and help them to grow.”

The workshops are co-directed by Ann Nicholson of Mill Run.

“We have both been involved for a long time in many different aspects of theater and different shows,” Nicholson said. She has been involved with area school talent shows for years in addition to stage plays and shows.

The workshops offer participants a chance to explore different avenues of theater, featuring guidance on stage and behind the scenes.

“You may want to get involved with a show, but may not particularly want to act on stage,” Rosenberg said. “There are so many other opportunities for people to work off stage. There is lighting and tech, building and painting sets, makeup, costume design and many, many other ways that you can be a part of a show. We try to explore all the opportunities while offering people the chance to try things to see what they may like.”

The women are open to suggestions for the program.

Rosenberg said the workshops are a great confidence booster.

“We have a lot of adults who have voiced interest,” Rosenberg said. “Participating in these classes is so beneficial in so many ways.”

Although just recently rolled out, the workshops have a core group of youths.

“I love coming here,” said Ethan Shultz, 11, of Normalville. “I've been coming for over a month, and this is something that I really like to do.”

An adult B.Y.O.B. improvisation class has been added to the schedule along with a Summer Theater Camp, which will be held July 14-18.

“We are just really excited about offering these classes,” Nicholson said. “They are not only fun, but the interaction and the confidence that can be gained is priceless. A lot of people need some sort of outlet, and we offer that and much more. Plus, it's always fun.”

The schedule for Project Talent Theatre Workshops is:

• Mondays, 6-7:30 p.m., adult improvisations $8 per person.

• Tuesdays, 4:45-5:45 p.m. and 5:45-6:45 p.m., all ages; $10 per person, per hour (workshops vary).

• Thursdays, 4:45-5:45 p.m. and 5:45-6:45 p.m., all ages; $10 per person, per hour (workshops vary).

• Saturdays, “Acting Out” Day Camp, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., includes lunch and snacks, all ages, $35 per person.

• First Saturday of every month is Adult Wine and Fun Night! B.Y.O.B., adult improvisations, and mystery prop bags; $10 per person, price includes refreshments.

• Summer Theatre Camp is scheduled for July 14-18, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $50 deposit required for registration. Deposit will go toward camp fee; 10 percent discount if camp bill paid in full before April 30.

For more on the workshops, visit Project Talent Theatre Workshops on Facebook, email at or call 724-603-2275.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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