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Children create own show

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William Duncan (front), who plays the beautiful swan, is mocked by the ducklings during The Beautiful Swan production at the Souris Valley Theatre on July 11. (Photo credit: Mackenzie Hientz)

The Souris Valley Theatre concluded their Performing Arts Camp Act I with a production of The Beautiful Swan on July 11.

There were 15 children between the ages of six and eight who participated in the camp, which took place from July 7 to 11.

Throughout the week, the children participated in activities, such as theatre games, and learned the technical side of theatre, such as the parts of the stage, according to camp instructor Josh Pele.

“We just learned a lot of theatre stuff, we learned all of the theatre lingo – front stage, back stage – and we also learned (how to deliver) a final performance,” said Pele.

To get ready for the show, Pele and fellow camp instructor Maya Branyik-Thornton explained to the children what they were going to do, so they can offer their input into the performance.

“Everybody picked their own little duckling trait, and we just twisted the story of the little duckling, so they’re all ducklings except for one, who is a beautiful swan,” said Pele.

Branyik-Thornton said they got the idea of the children picking their traits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Each dwarf had a particular trait.

 “We came up with most of the lines but it was within the kids' characters… so it was kind of like a collective group production,” said Pele.

The children were also responsible for creating their own costumes.

The objective of the camp was for the children to create a show, as well to be in one, according to Branyik-Thornton.

Pele said everybody had a great time putting on the show.

“It was just a wonderful experience and all of these kids are all so talented,” he said.

Act II of the performing arts camp will be for children nine to 12, and takes place from July 14 to 18. It will go “deeper into the theatre world,” according to Pele.

“We’re going to review everything then go right down into the deep stuff… the improv and it will be a lot more collective,” he said.

The final camp, for children 13 to 16, is August 5 to 15.


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