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Alliance Offers Summer Workshops

— The Alliance Theatre has a 10-year tradition of working with young people in the arts, and it’s continuing this summer. Children entering third grade through eighth grade are invited to spend a summer on the stage and behind the camera in a five-week series of workshops.

The sessions run from June 25-28, July 1-3, July 9-12, July 16-19 and July 23-26, from 6:30-9 p.m., at Mountain View High School, 5775 Spindle Court in Centreville. For cost and registration information, go to www.thealliancetheatre.org.

Actors will be divided into two groups, students in rising grades 3-5 and in rising grades 6-8, and will learn about acting, filmmaking, singing and dancing, technical theater and play/film production.

The summer workshops provide young artists with the opportunity to explore many stages. “The first stage is the actor’s space,” said Alliance’s Maggie Swan. “Improvisation and the actor’s toolbox are used as keys to characterization. Characters are made even more interesting by adding creative movement, throwing a punch, clowning around, using a strange voice, wearing a costume or wielding a prop.”

The second stage is the movie set and, in this portion, a professional filmmaker will be the guest instructor. Students will learn what makes a good, visual picture; hitting marks in front of and behind the camera; frames and angles; and acting for the camera.

The third stage moves to Broadway and will be taught by guest instructors who’ll have the students singing, dancing and moving in different styles ranging from the music of “Grease” to “The Little Mermaid.” Included are tips on auditioning.

The fourth stage is actually backstage, and students will learn the impact that lighting, costumes, makeup, sound, special effects, scenery and prop design can have on a production. The color of the lights changes the mood and creates atmosphere and a piece of fabric can become a river.

The fifth stage shifts to the production studio where students will be taught the technical aspects of putting on a play or film. Then they’ll each do a variety of jobs — putting into use many of the elements they’ve learned during the workshops — to create an original, short film.