By Cecilia Jansen, Riverside folk musician and actress
The Riverside Center for Education’s Theatre program inspires in kids a love of acting. The cast gets to know each other not just as fellow actors and actresses, but as friends, and and they become better performers on stage.
Until now, however, Theatre has only been for kids 8-14 years old, leaving those who age-out disappointed.
To satisfy the continuing desire to be a part of the Riverside community, the Riverside Tutors decided to form an acting “Troupe” for kids 14-18. The cast is much smaller than the ones Riverside has used for past plays and it is invitation only. This also is the first performance to have auditions.
On February 24 and 25, the cast of Troupe will be performing three one act plays, “Home,” “In the Shadow of the Glen,” and “Riders to the Sea.”
Dan Janeiro, director of Riverside Theatre, said that he has been very excited about Troupe. As for the differences he has implemented, he said he thought that auditions were an important experience for the actors and actresses and a good thing for Riverside as well, so that he would know what to expect from the members of the cast, in a way that was not too intimidating.
He had the actors and actresses perform a monologue from “Alice in Wonderland” for auditions. However, they did not have to act as the character Alice, but could pick the gender, personality, and age of their character.
After seeing everyone perform, Janeiro said, “It is very satisfying to watch the actors and actresses mature and develop in their talents. It’s very gratifying. I am really proud of all of them.”
Former crew member Claire Groppe said that through Riverside her siblings have become better actors and actresses.
“I’ve been backstage a lot and I’ve seen him (Janeiro) develop them (the cast) to become better performers. I think that Riverside is pretty cool, and that it has been a big help,” Groppe said.
Teresa Jansen, an actress in the Troupe production, said that her role is a challenge, but she really likes it.
“We really focus on what Mr. Janeiro calls the craft of theater. (We are) learning a lot about costume design, prop design, set design. We’re just getting to know theater better,” Jansen said.
Trinity Veith, who is very new to Riverside, said that Troupe has been a really good experience for her.
“I absolutely love it! I think the people in it are really nice, I really enjoy the director. I think Riverside is a wonderful organization. It’s a place where a group of good, holy people can work together to worship the Lord,” Veith said.