First Light Theatre Project finds success

Cast and crew of First Light Theatre’s Summer Intensive Workshop take their bows at their closing production. From left, Leo Rosowsky, Jasmyn Ikeda, Bea Hooper, Sarah Zhegu, Braden Paquin, Matthew Vigneau, Maddie Magnant, Hawthorne Hughes, Zoe Blake, Malin Bolton, Luke Bendoski and Bella Antoniotti.

For two weeks in July, local drama students participated in First Light Theatre’s Summer Intensive Workshops held at South Burlington High School. The workshops’ culminating performance, “Respect for Acting,” took the stage July 26 at the high school auditorium and featured a series of monologues and one acts. 

“We are really excited about the opportunity this gives to drama kids,” said Karen Jamiel, one of the workshop organizers. “It gives them the opportunity to specialize in their area of interest, which they all really seemed to appreciate. So many of the parents came up to me after the performance to say how much their child had enjoyed it.”

The theater workshops taught middle and high school students a variety of skills ranging from improv to building stage models. Participants also worked with guest professionals who taught writing, dialects, character development, movement and costuming.

For some students of the workshop, it was their first experience with drama, while others have been involved in theater programs at both the South Burlington middle and high schools for years.

“I learned a lot about how to go in depth with the characters and to add actions and meanings to specific words and phrases,” said Jasmyn Ikeda, a South Burlington High School sophomore.

This was the inaugural summer workshop program for the First Light Theatre Project. The program was led by founder and creative director David Bailey, who teaches at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School.  

“A lot of acting is really about discovery of yourself, so working with workshop participants to help them discover things about themselves and their characters was really rewarding,” said Hanlan Paquin, a member of the First Light Theatre staff.

Organizers of the summer intensive workshops report they look forward to growing the program next year.  

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