Theatricks in Sherman is working to develop future playwrights. The children’s theater will be hosting its fourth annual youth theater playwriting conference June 8-10.
Registration recently began. The registration fee is $75, and the organization hopes to have 40 to 50 children attend the conference. About 30 have already registered.
“This year, they will be writing a prologue or an epilogue to a play that we know,” Theatricks Director Webster Crocker said. “So they will be telling how the characters go to the portion of the story that we already know or what happened after the story we already know.”
The first year of the conference, the writing students were given a picture and music. They were asked to create a play based upon those two items. Crocker said that was difficult, so, in the years since, they have tried to create a program that really develops writing skills.
“Since then, we have given them a known style to write within like a drama or a comedy,” Crocker said. “The Texas Commission of Arts highlights playwriting. I want students to become well rounded from design, lights, advertising and promotion.”
The fourth annual youth theater playwriting conference will be held June 8-10.
The focus of the three-day conference will be the creation of a 10-minute, one-act play. The plays will be performed on the Kidd Key Stage on the third day of the conference.
On day one of the conference, the students will be taught the process of writing a play by Ruth Cantrell who works with the Dallas Children’s Theatre. An Improv class will be taught by Lindsay Goldapp.
“We are hoping that this will help teach how to develop a storyline,” Crocker said. “We are also very excited about the murder mystery social event for children on the first night. That should be really fun.”
On day two, groups will finalize their scripts and the scripts will be judged by Cantrell. Then they will travel to The Rialto Theater in Denison where the students will see the one-act play, “The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet” by TCA traveling artist,
“We are not just learning about characters and character development, Vandygriff will be teaching how to copyright and publish a work,” Crocker said. “That is the business side. So we want to teach everything in this conference. It is about more than just the acting.”
On day three, groups will give a performance of their one-act play.
There is no charge for the public to attend the performances. Awards will be presented for “Best Written Script,” “Best Play,” “Best Actor,” “Best Actress,” “Best Use of Theatrical Elements,” “Most Creative Character Costume,” and “Best Use of Costume Elements” and others.
“We want the children to know that they are not limited in what interest are and can be,” Crocker said. “I had a student that attended the camp last year that was not really interested in acting or plays. Since she attended the camp, she has attended everything else we have done. This camp is not for drudgery. It’s about showing writing creativity can be done by anyone and it can be fun while doing it.”
For the registration fee, students will be able to participate in all aspects of the workshops, will receive six meals, will be able to participate in the opening night social event and the evening at The Rialto. Register on the Theatricks website, https://www.theatricks.org.