On Saturday, November 13th Theatre Action Project hosted their second annual Youth Arts Symposium at ACC’s Eastview Campus. Throughout the day students travelled between three classes: Theatre, Dance and Film. I began the day with TAP Teaching Artist and improv extraordinaire, Caitlin Swahn. The group was nervous during the first warm-up exercises; everyone seemed a little shy about jumping right in. We spent an hour with Caitlin playing name games, throwing imaginary objects around the room, acting like we were on a sinking ship and loosening up our creative muscles! At the end of the hour everyone was laughing, talking, and trading jokes with their new friends.
The original cliques made up of familiar classmates began changing into a united group as we made our way to Film class. There we met Teaching Artists Moeke Crider, Maganthrie Pillay, and Marcelo Teson. We quickly made our introductions then divided into two groups to film our Public Service Announcements (PSA). The topics varied but all showed how kids can change the world. Our PSA was a lot of fun to make and Maganthrie had so many great suggestions. She gave one student control over the camera, directing and placing shots, while everyone else took a turn in front of the lens. Near the end of our hour in Film class the cell phones began to come out and I knew it was time for lunch. Everyone gathered around the tables, taking the opportunity to mingle with their new friends. We even celebrated one student’s birthday with an enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
Our final class of the day was Dance with TAP Teaching Artist Rhianon Renae. Everyone was full of energy after lunch so we dove right in with trust exercises. We divided into groups of two, with one partner leading the other around the room with eyes closed. We also molded each other into statues, learned a short dance, and choreographed our own dance routines. There was one small Rootbeer explosion, but the rest of the afternoon was very productive and fun! At the end of the day we all gathered together to watch the finished PSAs (quickly and lovingly edited by Marcelo), then closed with an enthusiastic thank you to the TAP staff! I was so happy walking home from ACC and will definitely attend the Youth Arts Symposium next fall!
What are all the different ways that kids can change the world? Share your comments here or on our Facebook Page!