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Courses for Young, Would-Be Entertainers

March 12, 1992

Agents, directors, parents and kids involved in acting and modeling agree: If you want to enhance your performance experience and expertise, you need to obtain some direct instruction. Related skills, such as gymnastics and ballet, are helpful, too.

Here are some of the programs available:


Carlsbad Youth Theatre

The youth wing of Patrons of the Arts offers summer theater workshops, for ages 6-16, which serve as training for productions. Monthlong classes (five days a week, four hours a day, for $70) in beginning and advanced acting, puppetry, dance, voice and diction, improvisation, mime. Contact Will Neblett, 438-2729. The Play Factory, a branch of Carlsbad Youth Theatre, is a summer touring production group for ages 16 and up. Contact Jim Hall, 434-0646 or 434-0692.

Encinitas Performing Arts

Affiliated with Parkdale Players. Evening acting and creative drama classes for grades 2-6 at $40-60 for eight weeks (60-90 minutes a week). Next session begins April 6. Two sessions of new summer drama camp will meet three hours daily for four weeks (fees to be established), culminating in a full-scale production. Contact Wendy Woolf, 944-3551.

Coast Kids Productions

Summer workshops in drama, voice and dance for ages 6-12. Four-week classes, which cost $75, will meet in Encinitas three afternoons a week for three hours. Contact Ann Schulz, 436-4112.

Felicita Foundation

Nonprofit arm of the new Center for the Arts-Escondido, offers 80 classes in the arts, including "Magic Box" for preschoolers, as well as mime, improvisation, masks, ventriloquism, creative drama, theater games, acting, children's choir, music and dance for musical theater. Cost is $35 per class (1-2 hours a week for eight weeks). Next session begins April 20. Call Barbara Masters or Nicole Brown, 743-3322.

Christian Youth Theatre

Solana Beach (North County coastal) and Escondido (North County inland): Branches of the Christian Youth Theatre (ages 6-18), the junior group of Christian Community Theatre. Classes, offered three times a year ($95 for 10 weeks, two hours per week), include drama, dance and voice, as well as specialty workshops in accents and dialects, clowning and mime (coastal), jazz dancing, makeup and musical theater (inland).

Next session begins March 16. The all-day summer camp program is two weeks for grades 1-6, three weeks for grade 7 and above, the latter culminating in a full production of "No, No Nanette." From North County, call 1-800-696-1929.

Moonlight Amphitheatre

Vista's Moonlight Amphitheatre offers children's workshops including beginning acting (ages 7-12), intermediate acting (ages 13-19) and master acting (ages 16-adult), as well as workshops in youth theater, vocal skills and musical theater. The next session begins March 14; classes run for six weeks (2-3 hours a week, $60-$75).

Moonlight Youth Theatre presents two major, large-cast productions a year. Call 724-6017.

Arts Between the Tracks

Vista Recreation Department's year-round, four-week day camp program, "Arts Between the Tracks," focuses on the arts for schoolchildren and starts up every month. Cost is $60-$75 a week (9 a.m.-4 p.m. five days a week when children are "off-track" in the year-round school schedule; day care options from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.).

Call 945-7348.


San Diego Junior Theatre in Balboa Park

The granddaddy of county youth theater programs, in existence for 45 years, provides six annual productions, year-round workshops and summer day camp programs for ages 8-18.

The current Junior Theatre production, Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors," continues through March 22. Next up is a musical version of "Alice in Wonderland," from April 17-May 3.

About 10% of the group's students come from North County, according to education director Jennifer Nash.

The next session of classes (2 hours a week for 10 weeks) begins March 23 and includes training in vocal development, acting, tap dance, technical work, playwriting through improvisation and two performance classes grades 3-12. Cost is $75-$100 per workshop or class. Scholarships available. The summer program includes four classes, running 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, with an optional extension to 5 p.m. There are five two-week sessions; students can enroll for more than one session ($150-$200). Specialty classes include Shakespeare, stage combat and puppetry. Call 239-1311.

La Jolla Playhouse

Young Performers

Summer workshops, open to elementary and high school students, focus on creative drama for students in grades 3-12. Offered as a UCSD Extension course, the workshop is taught by professionally trained actors and directors from La Jolla Playhouse.

A variety of three-week segments will be offered between July 6-Aug. 14. Cost for elementary students is $275 for half-day sessions and $425 for full-day sessions; high school students, $495 for full-day sessions. Classes are taught at La Jolla Country Day School. Call Anthony LeSane, 534-6760.

Modeling school

Barbizon School of Modeling at Fashion Valley. Training and placement services. Twelve-week training program for ages 4-11 (Saturdays for two hours) includes how to walk, turn, pose, audition and act in commercials, in addition to providing information on etiquette, grooming, nutrition and makeup. Teen classes for 12-19 year olds. Cost is $595. Call 729-1322.

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