Chandler kicks off spring semester of its Teen Drama Program today, helping junior high and high school students dreaming of the stage to find time in the spotlight.
Auditions for high school students are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Santan K-8 Campus, 1550 E. Chandler Heights Road. Junior high students can tryout 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 31, also at the Santan campus.
Lauren Spear, a graduate student in Arizona State University’s Youth Theater Program, will direct the free program. High school students will write, produce and perform their own play, she said.
"I think it’s the unique experience," Spear said. "The way I like to frame it is developing life skills, not so much skills that they can develop and go use to become professional actors. I think it also gives them a sense of responsibility and gives them a voice somewhere because their piece will be based on their life experiences.
"In this experience, they are definitely contributing from their personal life and that’s something they wouldn’t experience by just performing a play."
Chandler Recreation Coordinator Sara C de Baca said the program also offers junior high students the chance to perform.
"I think the nice thing about it is junior high students don’t have performing arts in the schools, so this gives them an opportunity to experience the performing arts," she said. "The junior high group work on already published works. That way it gives them a chance to learn lines and get into character before moving onto high school where they have to write the plays and develop the characters."
Spear will meet with the high school students twice a week and with junior high students once a week through May. Both groups will culminate the semester’s work with a performance at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
"It’s a commitment," C de Baca said. "If they are interested, they have to commit to the full rehearsal schedule, so we are looking for kids who are serious about it."
For more information, call C de Baca at (480) 782-2712.