Youth to take over at Little Theatre

Published 12:08 am Friday, May 20, 2011

Natchez Little Theatre’s 2011 Summer Youth Workshop will have auditions, registration and orientation starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Natchez Little Theatre at 319 Linton Ave. at Maple Street in historic Natchez.

This is the seventh year of NLT’s annual youth workshop that has positively transformed the lives of many of our areas young people. Natchez Little Theatre is Mississippi’s oldest community theatre and its Summer Youth Workshop has been recognized by the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.  More than 200 local youth have participated over the years and continue to participate in community activities at NLT and throughout our area.

There will be three levels of workshops this summer.

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The novice class is for first-time or inexperienced youth and classes will run from 10 a.m. until noon, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, June 7 – 16.

An intermediate class for youth with limited experience will run the same hours and days June 21 – 30. The cost for each of these classes is $100 per student; $75 for a sibling and the novice participant may add the intermediate class for an additional $25.

An advanced class will be offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., June 7 – 30, for students who have experience in performance and desire a serious workshop to improve their acting, auditioning, singing and interpretive skills. The cost of this 36-hour workshop is $150 per student and $75 for a sibling.

Financial aid scholarships are available for those in need, and forms for scholarships and registration are online at to download so that you can help expedite the registration process by bringing filled out forms to the audition/orientation on Saturday with required workshop fees.

I will be teaching fundamentals of acting, character and scene study,  auditioning, public speaking and elocution. Assisting with this year’s workshop are Kathleen Mackey King of the Children’s Music Prep Studio and Co-Lin, Natchez campus teaching voice, sight reading, pitch and rhythm; Marylee Williams, recent graduate of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and freshman theatre major at LSU teaching theatre traditions and improvisation; Sydney Eidt, a junior at the Mississippi School for the Arts, teaching basic dance and stage movement; Don Vesterse, NLT’s technical director and general manager, teaching stage craft, set construcion, costuming, props and stage management.

All students will participate in performance pieces at the conclusion of the workshop,  with each and every participant having the opportunity to show off his or hers newly learned and/or improved skills.

Past participants in NLT’s Summer Youth Workshop have been scholarship winners to performing arts schools and to continue their theater studies in colleges and universities across the country.

They leave the workshop with self-confidence, new life-long friendships, and skills that will improve their educational lives, self-discipline and social skills into the future.

Class sizes will be limited so that each participant may get individual attention.  Please note that this is a workshop for youth who are truly interested in the performing arts and not a babysitting service.

The participants will be in a safe, nurturing environment that requires punctuality and personal responsibility.

No cell phones, electronic devices, flip flops or backless shoes are allowed.

Parents or guardians must accompany youth under 16 to the audition, registration and orientation.

For further information visit NLT’s website at or call me at NLT at 601-442-2233; toll free: 1-877-440-2233.

Layne Taylor is Natchez Little Theatre’s artistic and executive director.