"When I learned about the production, I knew this would be an invaluable lesson for our students," says Greenlee-Potts. "I knew that they'd return to the mountains bursting with new ideas and excitement that'll find expression in our upcoming productions."
The PAC youth Theater is free and open to all local students, regardless of their level of experience. Different programming has different age requirement. For information call 828.526.9047.
The training goes far beyond the confines of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. In October, Greenlee-Potts took fifteen students to the Peace Center in Greenville, SC to witness a performance of the raucous Broadway Tour of "The Play That Goes Wrong." This farce, which won the 2015 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy and 2017 Tony Award for Best Set Design relies upon lightning-fast dialogue, split -second comedic physically, stage combat, meticulously designed and engineered set, pyro-techniques, carefully choreographed lighting and sound, and break-away costumes.
Fueled by the grants awarded in 2017 by the Cashiers Foundation, the Cullasaja Women's Outreach, Mountain Finding and the Highlands Foundation and the seemingly endless enthusiasm of young people, the PAC youth Theater has enjoyed an event-filled 11th year.
Of course, the program is predicated upon ongoing training with the students invited to view and study the PAC's presentations of the current streamed productions of The National Theatre of London. Classes are also offered at different times of the year in acting, voice and movement; general theater studies; text analysis; tech design, and production skills, stage combat; and front of house.
Those who study in the Youth Theater's Intern Program learn hands-kin lessons of working with national touring groups. Members of the program begin by watching and listening to Ms. Greenlee-Pots' instruction. As time goes on. with hard work and perseverance, they are taught to be able to serve as lighting technicians, sound engineers, prop masters, wardrobe assistances, and even backstage managers for community and professional productions at the PAC.
"We want our students to be comfortable on stage, working front of the house, and up in the control booth," says PAC Youth Theater Artistic Director Megan E. Greenlee-Potts. "We use the ensemble approach to theater, which means no one is a star. There's an entire suite of skills to be learned in the theater. But beyond those tangible talents, put you people learn new verbal and non-verbal techniques that the can apply to all aspects of their lives. And I don't think you can put a price on the quiet confidence that they earn with the mastery of the theater."