Young Actors Program this summer at Seligmann Center

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The Young Actors Program is continuing its training program this summer with its performance workshop at the Seligmann Center for the Arts at the Orange County Citizens Foundation.

The six-week performance workshop program begins July 9 and takes place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sugar Loaf.

Throughout the summer, students will be learning and refining the craft of acting while rehearsing a new production. This year the workshop will focus on Aristophanes’ "Lysistrata" and how the Greek comedy relates to issues facing us today.

The theater process begins with the script. The playwright defines the structure of the play by answering the questions who, what and where. The characters in the play, the plot or story (including themes, style, etc.) and the time and place of the play are the concerns of the writer. This is done through dialog and relationships.

Once the actor understands who the people in the play are and what they have to do, the question then becomes how and why. Things like how a character lives and functions during the play and how the character walks and talks become the role of the actor. Motivation, emotion, rhythm, and psychology come to play in why a character does what he does.

This summer’s workshop is designed to answer the questions "How and Why." Using Lysistrata for this workshop offers the students the perfect opportunity to answer these questions.

“Lysistrata is a classic for a reason and though the language, at first, may seem challenging, it offers the perfect opportunity to study a script with no preconceptions," said Paul Ellis, director of the workshop. "Aristophanes wrote this play hundreds of years ago and the issues of war, peace and a woman’s role in society are as relevant today as they were when it was written.“

The play is being staged with the unique nature of the property in mind. This summer’s workshop will include a study of location and how it impacts the performance as well as the social and political issues presented in the classic comedy.

Ellis has 45 years of experience in the theater business. He studied theater with Lee Strasberg, Peter Brook, Julian Beck and play writing with Jean Claude Van Ittallie. Ellis has directed more than 80 plays and produced numerous concerts and festivals. He presently directs and produces the Air Pirates Radio Theater. His past students have been accepted to the finest acting conservatories including NYU, Purchase, Pace and the London Academy of Dramatic Arts; many have appeared in major films and stage productions including American Idiot, Law and Order, Argo and Off Broadway and independent films.

To register, visit www.airpirateradio.com/workshop.

Performances are scheduled for Aug. 16 and 17.

The fee for the six-week Young Actors Program is $400. To register, call 845-469-7563 or visit www.airpirateradio.com/pep/workshops/upcoming-workshops/ to register online.

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