Theatre Helps Re-Discover Inner Child
Spencer Elliott '10 - I’ve recently come to the realization that if you become apathetic; the concrete jungle will slowly blot out your inner-child. The morning traffic, cold coffee, hour-long meetings, lunch lines, squeaky chairs, jammed printers, progress reports, and afternoon traffic take their toll over time.
This newfound understanding is not some divine revelation — it took my internship with the 2008 Summer Conservatory for Youth at the Indiana Repertory Theatre to realize that my inner-child was in peril. When I started the program I quickly realized that, compared to the children, I lacked wholehearted spontaneity and enthusiasm. However, over a period of four weeks, the students and teachers awakened within each other and myself a child-like desire to learn new things, meet different people, and take bold risks.
To those who are unfamiliar with the Summer Conservatory, let me enlighten you — this was the 11th year of the program with 67 students ages 8 to 18 participating with over 20 high caliber professionals directing and instructing classes. Acting track students received training in acting, voice, movement, Shakespeare, creative dramatics, and dance for theatre. Production track students received training in stage management, directing, lighting, scenic design, costumes, properties and playwriting. The four-week program culminated in a public performance that drew an enthusiastic full house of over 193 people.
While the final presentation was meaningful, at the IRT we believe that the ongoing education of youth is of the utmost importance. First and foremost, Summer Conservatory makes each student self-aware and self-assured members of a greater community that believes in the importance of theatre in modern society. In addition, over four weeks, while each student makes a different degree of progress on the stage; everyone is more prepared for the real world (for the post-it, the printer, and the paycheck). They learn to react truthfully, think critically, and unapologetically strive to achieve their goals.
I honestly hope my students bring the genuine to the real world that severely lacks it; I know my inner child and I will.