Members of the new International Thespian Society at Montoursville Area High School are bringing their talents together to teach children in grades kindergarten through fourth, about the art of theater.
The International Thespian Society consists of 17 students who are in 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Each of the members achieved 10 points through different theater productions they have participated in. The amount of points is determined by the position they held during productions. The society was approved by the school board in March.
Those 17 students has hosted workshops to help pass on the love of theater to students in elementary school. The society, so far, has hosted two programs, one on April 26 and one on June 11, in which elementary school students spent a morning or afternoon with the Thespian Society students, participating in different workshops to improve and build upon theater skills.
Shown are participants in the new International Thespian Society at Montoursville Area High School.
Children in kindergarten through second grade attend the workshops in the morning, and in the afternoon, children in third and fourth grade attend the workshops.
The workshops are run and taught by the members of the International Thespian Society. Each society member who runs a workshop is required to have a detailed lesson plan turned in to the society advisor, Denise Connor, prior to the day of the workshop. Some of the workshops that the society members plan include musical singing and dancing, stage combat, comedy improv, masks, stage make-up and face painting, character creation and development and costuming.
"The kids teach everything," Connor said.
Katie Conklin, a society member who recently won the Ray of Light award for best leading actress in a musical, coordinated the musical theater singing and dancing classes during the recent workshops. She explained that for the younger children in the workshops, she teaches about one minute of choreography she created to a popular Disney song like "Under the Sea" from the movie "The Little Mermaid." The children then perform for their parents/guardians at the end of the day.
Conklin hopes that through the workshops, children will learn to have the same passion for theater that she has, as they go on to higher levels of education.
"When they get up to the higher levels of school, I hope they will have the same passion that I do,"