Backstage Workshop

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Kearney, Nebraska                                                                            August 1-2, 2014

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Crane River Theater was created to serve Central Nebraska and surrounding areas as a professional theater production company providing a home for the presentation, education and promotion of the arts.  We provide the unique quality of using professionals from across the country and mixing them with area artists to create exciting and innovative productions.  We have already had the honor of working with actors, directors and designers from twenty-six states, and are excited to share their talents with all of Nebraska.   


Backstage with Crane River Theater is an educational opportunity created to provide opportunities for high school students across the state to receive a backstage look at a professional production and take part in a series of theatrical workshops.  The participating production for 2014 will be Footloose.  Available workshops will range from acting, musical theater and dance to video production and stage combat.  We also offer workshops that focus on the technical side of theater which will include make up for the actor, playwriting and scene painting techniques.  It is sure to be an invaluable experience for any student with an interest in the arts.      


Itinerary for Backstage 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014                

               4:00pm       Meet and Greet with Crane River Theater Company at the Merryman Performing Arts Center
Select company members share their introductory auditions as we take a look inside the
casting process of Crane River Theater
    5:00pm      Break      
    7:00pm      Attend the production of Footloose
    9:30pm      Post Show Party catered by Old Chicago with the Cast and Crew

Saturday, August 2, 2014 

               8:45am          Welcoming at Kearney High School Auditorium
    9:00am     Workshop Session 1
  10:30am     Workshop Session 2   
  12:00pm    Lunch (Provided)
  12:30pm    Workshop Session 3
    2:00pm      Workshop Session 4
    3:30pm      Backstage Wrap-Up and Send Off





Broadway Here I Come
Taught by Brian Botsford, Musical Theater Educator and Director


Musical theatre performances are made powerful due to the acting skills employed while singing with the words.  This workshop is designed to provide exposure to the script, score and character in an effort to clarify the story of the song.  Students are encouraged to bring prepared selections to coach, although they are not required.   


Taught by Dayna DeFilippis, Professor and Choreographer at UNK


Whether you are a dancer or not, this is the workshop for you.  Dayna will lead you through the basic elements of dance and keys to learning choreography that will help you in any performance.  The secrets to good theatrical movement for the stage will be revealed as you are taken through an intensive choreography session straight from the production of Footloose.


Creating the Character
Taught by Patsy Koch Johns, Actress and Theater Director


Explore the magic of theater through acting.  This popular workshop will give participants a chance to get on their feet and develop characters.  You will use interactive techniques to explore goals, obstacles and tactics as they apply to the world of characterization.



Combat for the Stage
Taught by Harris Smith, Head of the Professional Actor Training Program at UNL


Want to know the basics of how to make a fight look real on stage?  Students will learn how to successfully execute an unarmed fight with slaps, punches, kicks and more.  Gain knowledge of how to trust your partner and fight safely, while incorporating motivation and characterization.                                                            


You Talk Funny
Taught by the Actors of Crane River Theater Company


Jump on a flight around the world as we explore the entertaining world of accents.  Through the use of the international phonetic alphabet, participants will learn the basic tricks of the trade to create convincing British, German, French, Italian and Southern dialects.  You will even have a chance to bring these characters to life with comedic scenes incorporating the accents.  


Playwriting for the Actor
Taught by Janice Fronczak, Acting and Playwriting Professor at UNK


Find the playwright within yourself in this interactive workshop.  Participants will write a one-minute monologue using a specialized worksheet to assist in the creative process.  You will create images that lend themselves to reveal a hidden character just waiting to come alive.  At the end of the workshop, learn how to make bold choices to act another’s original monologue.    


No Fear Shakespeare
Taught by the Actors of Crane River Theater Company


Unlock the magic of Shakespeare with this interactive workshop that will equip you with all the resources to discover the meaning and power of speaking the text out loud.  Participants will overcome their fears and intimidation and take ownership of Shakespeare’s words.  Voice and movement guidance will allow you to sink your teeth into these rich characters while having fun at the same time. 

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Taught by the Actors of Crane River Theater Company


Who doesn’t love to laugh?  In this workshop, we will focus on the core skills of improv comedy in a fun and sociable way.  You’ll learn a number of games you can play just about anywhere as you develop scenes and create characters within seconds.  We will spontaneously create theater through listening rather than thinking, from allowing rather than forcing, and from being fully present in the moment.    


The Bloody Actor
Taught by Paul Pearson, Make-Up Designer


This workshop is dedicated to the illusion of special effects as created by makeup for the stage.  We will focus on the proper use and application of facial prosthetics, latex, and other make-up essentials necessary to create awesome facial creations.  Step-by-step instructions will guide you toward developing your own design. An emphasis on the proper way to apply and remove make-up will be part of this workshop.                                   


Lights, Camera, Action!
Taught by Matt Bross, Filmmaker and Videographer


As dozens of crew members whirl about on the set of a film, lights shine into the actor’s eyes, boom mics float overhead, and “Action!” is finally called, the actor is still expected to give a believable and moving performance for the camera. In this workshop students will learn the basics of film acting: creating performances based upon shot size and angle, hitting marks, emotional and physical continuity, and strength and imagination in acting choices.                                   


Scene Painting Techniques
Taught by the Designers of Crane River Theater Company


Bring your set to life with a touch of paint.  The designers of Crane River Theater will lead students through an interactive workshop that explores the basics of scenic painting.  A step by step process will provide them with the techniques to create a wood floor, brick wall, concrete surface and various other scenic elements commonly found in theatrical productions.  Paint clothes encouraged for all students who participate.                                                            


Clowning Around
Taught by the Actors of Crane River Theater Company


Creatively stretch your mind and body as you unleash your inner clown.  The art of clowning teaches us many things about ourselves as performers: how to begin from a place of simple yet energized presence, how to sustain the pleasure of playing in the moment, how to mine the power of doing one thing at a time, and above all, clowning helps us accept our own unique ridiculousness. 






400 2014 School Registration Form 


400 2014 Backstage Individual Registration Form



400 Backstage Itinerary Backstage Itinerary


Crane River Theater

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