Summer theatre school takes acting serious

Dave Mathieson
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Melanie Crowe (left) Madelynn Carter, Molly Somers and Bailey Chitty, gather together in costumes as they prepare to instruct at this year’s summer theatre school, which starts Tuesday.

AMHERST – Tantramar Theatre’s Summer Theatre School begins on Tuesday, and this year’s production is a musical comedy entitled ‘How to Eat Like a Child’ with the subtitle, ‘And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up.’

Bette Douglas has been running the school for about 40 years and this year she has four high school students to instruct the program, with assistance from Douglas.

“They’ve all been through the program,” said Douglas.

The four instructors are Madelynn Carter, Melanie Crowe, Bailey Chitty and Molly Somers.

All combined, the four teenagers have more than 30-years of involvement in the Tantramar Theatre.

“These four are perfect examples of young people who have taken drama very seriously and seen how important it is in the development of a young person,” said Douglas.

Carter is 14-years-old and started with the theatre when she was a four-month old baby, playing the role of a baby.

“She worked for two month in Sleeping Beauty,” said Douglas. “I paid her $5 a performance and she did five performances a week.”

The girls say they love acting, and say it’s a challenge.

“You can portray someone else but you don’t have to be yourself,” said Carter.

“You have to step out of yourself and be somebody else. It can be kind of hard,” added Chitty, who is also 14-years-old.

Crowe, who is 15-years-old, says acting is a good way to come out of your shell.

“I didn’t really talk to anybody, and last year I was talking to people on the street and asking them question.”

Douglas said that extremely shy people often become actors.

“Very often professional actors are people who were very shy in school and they become different people on the stage,” she said.

“Actors rarely work alone,” she added. “Acting is reacting. You’re reacting to your fellow actors and reacting to the script you are given. It creates strong bonds.”

Asked who their favourite actor is, all four girls say Johnny Depp.

“He gets into the character and is passionate about what he does,” said Carter.

Douglas also says her favouite actor is also Johnny Depp.

“I’m in love with him,” said Douglas.

The summer school is open to kids age eight to 12. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting July 2, and goes to July 12.

“We have theatre exercises and improvisation, and music,” said Douglas. “We end with a final production on the Friday.”

For more information, or to enroll, contact the theatre school at 667-7002 or e-mail

Twitter: @ADNdave










Organizations: Tantramar Theatre

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