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Youth drama classes being offered

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Youths interested in drama now have an outlet to express themselves theatrically over the winter months.

A 16-week drama program, opened to those aged seven-18, is being offered at the Fort Frances Museum for a $40 fee.

The program has been made possible through a grant from the Winnipeg Foundation's Moffat Family Fund that museum staff applied for in March and received earlier this year.

Registration was held last Tuesday (Nov. 27) and about 15 people expressed interest in the classes.

Anyone still interested in registering can contact the museum at 274-7891 by this Sunday (Dec. 9) to secure a spot.

The classes will be taught by Lauren Hyatt, who has been involved in Canada's performing arts community for 10 years in addition to her five years of experience in South Africa, where she is from originally.

She has a Master's degree in drama and is eager to tap into the town's local talent.

“I really love what I do and if I can pass that on to kids in the community, that would be awesome,” she enthused.

“I think everybody's got something important to say and I think drama's a great way to pull that out.”

Those who sign up for the classes will learn the fundamentals of drama, as well as theatre history, prop-making, costuming, and behind-the-scene aspects of a show.

There are many beneficial aspects of getting involved in drama, which Hyatt is eager to share with her pupils.

“There are many different advantages drama has," she remarked. ”It makes kids more confident [and] gives them a platform to create.

"It allows them to interact with people and materials they wouldn't usually interact with.

“It also helps with their self-confidence, it gets them new friends, and they get to learn some fundamentals of drama in a way that's not usually taught,” Hyatt added.

“It's learning through practice.”

Once the students develop the fundamentals of drama, the idea of the classes is for them to write their own scripts, create their own characters, and produce a mini-production.

Through the classes, Hyatt is hoping to push students out of their comfort zone while still having fun.

“The museum is providing me with the platform to be able to create a safe space for them to play and have fun and create,” she said.

“They get to literally be themselves without judgements and that's always fun," she added. ”We all want that.

“Who doesn't want to be able to just let loose?”

A common theme Hyatt would like to promote during the classes is a sense of play.

“They learn through playing,” she reasoned.

“Most drama people like myself love playing," she noted. "We like creating, we like bringing out different parts of ourselves, and that's what I'll emphasize.”

Hyatt is in the process of prepping the classes and figuring out the logistics of when they can start.

She is hoping to get things going as soon as she can.

Hyatt, meanwhile, is encouraging any youths with an interest in learning a little bit more about the performing arts to sign up.

“Come out and have some fun,” she smiled.

“It's two hours of playing, creating, making new friends, and learning a new skill that's not frequently offered in this town.”

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