Pine-Richland Youth Center hosting acting, choreography workshop for kids
The Pine-Richland Youth Center will conduct its first-ever Shine Brighter Broadway Mash-up Workshop to give children the chance to immerse themselves in the world of musical theater for a day.
The event will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 13.
The all-day workshop will feature both acting and choreography sessions. Participants will be split into age groups — kindergarten through fifth grade and sixth through 12th. At the end of the day, everyone will come together to perform a scene and a dance number. Families are welcome to attend the showcase performance.
No experience is necessary.
“We want to offer a ‘sampler’ day, so to speak, so kids who may be on the fence with regard to the performing arts can give it a shot in a relaxed and fun atmosphere,” Pine-Richland Youth Center business coordinator Lisa Finn said.
The center launched its PRYC School for Creative Arts and the Shine Brighter program last year. Claire Sabatine will instruct kids in the acting portion while Sarah Friedlander will teach dancing. Both are performing arts professionals.
Sabatine is a University of Pittsburgh graduate who studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. She is also involved with Jumping Jack Theater, a children’s theater company in Pittsburgh that creates original works for children and others with autism and sensory issues.
She said they’ll decide what pieces to work on and perform based on how many students register.
Sabatine said children can take away many positives from participating in the performing arts in addition to simply having a good time.
“I think that walking in a character’s shoes would then translate into having empathy and kindness and just being able to connect with other people in real life,” she said. “Nowadays, we spend a lot of time looking at screens, but on stage you’re learning to make eye contact, you’re learning to speak clearly and loudly and there’s a public speaking element that I think is really valuable.”
Having a performing arts background can help children learn to work together and work in teams as well as build self-confidence.
“I had a student in my last session at (PRYC), a little boy, and his parents were just blown away with how he was behaving in class in this outgoing manner,” she said. “I would never have known that he was a very shy and reserved child because for some reason the games we played, the acting we did and stories we told must have resonated and made him feel comfortable enough to express himself.”