Two sessions will be offered: one for kids ages 8 to 16, one for ages 10 to 16.

LEWISTON – L/A Arts has a limited number of openings in its Summer Theatre Experience. Now in its ninth year, L/A Arts Summer Theatre offers two three-week sessions, each focusing on a different theatrical production.

The July session will focus on an adaptation of the musical production “Into the Woods.” Recommended ages for students are 8 to 16. The August session will concentrate on the Shakespeare comedy “As You Like It.” Recommended ages for students are 10 to 16. Deadline for registration is May 1.

No previous theatrical experience is needed to enroll – students start at whatever level they are at and grow from there. Each participant is guaranteed a roll in the production based on her/his preference and ability.

Students are expected to challenge themselves with new ideas, open themselves to new experiences and enrich themselves with new associations. In each session students work on a variety of skills such as teamwork and cooperation, critical and creative thinking and problem-solving, communication and leadership and an awareness and attention to detail, along with the joy (and hard work) of participating in a full-scale theatre production.

Odelle Bowman is the summer theatre program director. She has been the director for L/A Arts’ Summer Theatre Program since its inception. She is an arts educator and performer, doing school residencies in theatre and professional development workshops for teachers and students.

In addition to the many active positions she holds on numerous arts and youth-related organizations, Bowman directs the East End Theatre Initiative, which was honored in 2002 with a Coming up Taller Award, which recognizes exemplary programs fostering the creative and intellectual development of America’s children and youth through education and practical experience in the arts and the humanities.

Each theater session has its own production director. Sean Demers will direct “Into the Woods.” His directing credits include “Dreams of Elysia” with Two Lights Theatre Ensemble, which he also wrote; “Grease” with Children’s Theatre of Maine, where he served as co-director with Pam DiPasquale; “Lost in Yonkers” with the Dionysian Theater; and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” with his own company, Park Players.

He also wrote a children’s play in 1992 that was performed in Hopkinton, N.H. In 2003 he was one of 16 finalists of the Irene Ryan Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival competition. As a professional actor he has appeared locally in numerous productions, most recently as Dennis in “Loot” with Good Theater and “A Wrinkle in Time” with the Company of Girls.

Directing “As You Like It” will be Michael Levine. Co-founder of Oak Street Theatre and Acorn Productions, Levine has directed many productions for Acorn, including “The Cocktail Hour,” “Measure for Measure,” “Burn This,” ” Buried Child” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”

He taught acting classes for adults at the Acorn School for the Performing Arts and for teenage and middle school students at Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram. Levine is a graduate of MIT, where he studied playwrighting with A.R. Gurney, and acting with Kristen Linklater, and Shakespeare and Company. He has worked at Portland Stage Company and the New Repertory Theatre.

L/A Arts Summer Theatre is a TOPS scholarship approved camp. For more information about TOPS scholarships, call the United Way at 795-4000. To find out more about L/A Arts Summer Theatre Experience 2004, contact L/A Arts at 782-7228 or 1-800-639-2919 or visit the Web at www.laarts.org.


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