By Bonnie Davis Guy
The kids participating in the Barter Youth Academy Spring Workshop here in Mountain City have been working hard since February. Characters have been created, lines memorized, and acting skills honed. All their hard work culminated in Spring Demo Night at the Barter Stage II in Abingdon, VA on April 8th.
Barter Stage II is the smaller, more intimate of the two Barter theaters. With a ground level stage and stadium seating it allows for a unique and up close viewing experience. The actors interact on a person level with the audience at this venue. This years workshop line-up included pre-academy, elementary, and high school. Also appearing for Demo Night was the BYAs own Comedy Improv Troupe called Ninjas with Balloons who provided between-play entertainment.
Pre-academy is for children in the first and second grades. The primary goal for this group is learning some early acting skills, gaining stage experience, but most importantly gaining confidence. This years group was instructed and directed by Scott Koenig. The pre-academy kids were all smiles and confidence when they took the Barter stage cheered on by family and friends in the audience. They demonstrated skills they had learned about body movement and sound. Timing and stage sharing was also a skill they worked on. They got lots of laughs sharing their catch phrase, Dont be a snook, listen and look, with the audience. The Pre-Academy kids were Julia Crews, Jackson Clifton, Cypress Rohrbaugh, Josie Grindstaff, Lexi Mullins, and Keegan Wright.
The elementary group is for children in the third through fifth grades. They presented the play The Brave Little Tailor adapted by Brian Guehring. In this tale of unexpected bravery, we join the tiny tailor on a quest to defeat seven giants. When a young tailor is day-dreaming about killing a dragon, she manages to kill seven flies with one blow. Word spreads throughout the kingdom, and rumors grow. The kingdom is ruled by a cowardly king who hears of a tailor who killed seven in one blow. Assuming the seven were giants the King demands the tailor go into battle. The tailor must find her own courage to battle a rampaging unicorn, two troublesome giants, and a fierce dragon, all the while appeasing her overprotective mother.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.
By Bonnie Davis Guy