Young people will discover the thrill of the performing arts in three on-site summer classes at Northwest Indiana’s renowned Dunes Summer Theatre.
Kids ages 5-18 have a unique opportunity to explore skills in acting, singing, and mask making through Summer Youth Theatre Classes, beginning in mid-June. Class sizes are limited to give each student a personalized, immersive experience says Amber Zangari, education coordinator for Dunes Arts Foundation (DAF).
“We are delighted to be able to introduce children and teens to activities that will tap their imaginations and, hopefully, kindle their love of the performing arts,” Zangari says. “All classes will be conducted on the DAF campus safely, according to CDC guidelines.”
Class instructors Zangari and Tito Sanchez-Williams are veteran theatre performers with expertise in teaching young people. Zangari graduated from Huntington University’s School of Arts in Theatre Performance. She has been teaching young artists in person and online for the past five years. Sanchez-Williams, DAF artistic director, earned a master’s degree at the New School for Drama in New York City. He has taught classes for kids at Dunes Summer Theatre for the past two years.
Sanchez-Williams will introduce young actors to popular acting techniques in “Discovering Acting.” The class will include fundamentals such as script analysis, scene work, voice projection and improvisation. Two sections of the five-week, two-hour class are being offered, one for kids ages 7-12 and another for teens ages 13-18.
Sanchez-Williams, known by students as Senor Tito, is a popular teacher who keeps kids coming back year after year. Olivia started taking theatre classes at Dunes Summer Theatre two years ago and says, “He teaches us a lot of improv games to get us comfortable, and creates a good environment for anybody to attend his classes. My favorite part about the class is getting to meet new people and be able to have fun and learn at the same time!”
Kendall says, “Senor Tito makes the experience so great while learning something new every day. I have learned so much and have developed so many friendships along the way!”
Amber Zangari enjoys creating a safe space for young artists to discover their talents in the class, “Music Theatre Techniques.” Students will learn proper vocal techniques, character analysis and dance movements. Two sections of this five-week, two-hour class are offered, one for kids ages 7-12 and another for teens ages 13-18.
Zangari will also teach a special four-week class, “Making Magic with Masks,” for actors ages 5-8. Children will learn to create theatrical characters by making a new mask each week and performing short scenes with their characters.
Like Sanchez-Williams, Zangari receives rave reviews from her students. Sarah says, “Ms. Amber makes everyone feel good about their individual talents. Every class is upbeat, fun and easy to follow.” Shannon says, “Ms. Amber is so much fun! She’s super supportive and positive. Her enthusiasm is contagious.”
Both teachers are excited about welcoming students and watching them discover new talents. Zangari says, “Young people are capable of anything if someone believes in them.”
Details about dates, times and fees for the summer theatre classes and registration instructions are available at www.dunesarts.org. For a preview of the classes, visit www.dunesarts.org/youth-theatre-classes.
DAF believes in making theatre arts available to all interested students and will be offering a limited number of scholarships.
Teasers for the classes:https://www.dunesarts.org/musical-theatre-teaser