Cortland Repertory Theatre Youth Program Debuts Autumn Classes and Club

Posted by  //  October 1, 2015  //  Arts & Live Music, News

Do you have a budding performer in your family? How about a teen with an interest in theatrical scenic construction or lighting and sound design? If so, Cortland Repertory Theatre is proud to present to your young thespian a variety of theatrical opportunities this autumn. Coinciding with our first fall mainstage production, CRT is also offering fun and exciting classes for students in Kindergarten through 5th grades, and is forming a theatrical “club” for students in 6th – 12th grades.

For students in Kindergarten thru 2nd grade, CRT offers the class “WHAT A CHARACTER!”  Held on Saturday mornings on October 10, 17, 24, and 31, from 9:00 – 10:30 am, students will explore the basics of musical theatre while playing pretend! With guidance from theatrical professionals, participants will create fun and strong characters, build friendships while learning about differences, and create their own show! A special Halloween performance presentation for parents and friends will be held on Saturday, October 31. w

For students in 3rd thru 5th grades, CRT offers the class entitled “TO THE RESCUE!”, also on Saturdays, October 10, 17, 24, and 31, from 11:00 am-12:30pm. Participants will work on tenants of acting, singing, and movement by creating a superhero of their own.  The “mighty team” will come together on October 31for a special Halloween performance presentation for parents and friends.

Both classes are $40 for the four class series. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register soon.

For older students in grades 6 – 12, CRT introduces “The Playmakers Club”.  This group is designed to gather together the youth of Cortland who are interested in the arts to provide discussions, workshops and forums of all aspects of the performing arts, including acting, auditioning, theatre games, and facets of technical design, including sound, lighting, costume, make up and scenic elements. The first meeting will be held at CRT Downtown on Wednesday, September 30th from 7:00 -9:00 pm, and will be held every two weeks through December 9 with a different main topic at each meeting. On September 30, the meeting will cover an initial “Meet and Greet”, lead into some theatre games, and cover audition basics with CRT Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson. October 17 will cover stage and makeup effects with CRT Costume Designer Jimmy Johnsmeyer, and October 24 will focus on an introduction to Sound Design with CRT Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel.  There is a one-time fee of $10 to join the Playmakers Club, and the club is designed to be flexible, so that students can attend around their busy schedule.

All new CRT Youth Programs are created and led by Kris Valentine Behnke, CRT’s new Program Manager. She first worked at CRT as a Stage Manager/Company Manger in the 2009, ’10 and ’11 summers, working on such shows as Unnecessary Farce, Forever Plaid, Chicago, and The Andrews Brothers. In the years in between and following, she toured nationally with Maximum Entertainment’s The Magic School Bus Live!, Strega Nona: the Musical National Tour, and the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s A Christmas Carol. She has also worked with Tada! Youth Theatre in Manhattan, and two Off-Broadway shows: Forever Dusty: The Dusty Springfield Musical, and iLuminate: Artist of Light. Kris also took a summer to manage Field Station: Dinosaurs, an educational dinosaur theme park for kids in Secaucus, New Jersey.

For more information on all Youth Programs and more happenings at CRT Downtown, call Cortland Repertory Theatre at 607-753-6161 or visit the CRT website at

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