The Actor Factory – MMuDS’ youth drama program
ACTOR Factory is a Mansfield Musical and Dramatic Society (MMuDS) youth drama initiative, co-ordinated by MMuDS committee member, Shannen Andrews.
Some 16 young people from the age of 10 participate in the afterschool program each Tuesday from 4pm – 5.30pm at the Mansfield Performing Arts Centre.
Drama sports, monologues and duologues, team building and theatre skills, including lighting and sound are all part of the program designed to give young people the skills that will help them to be involved in future MMuDS productions.
Last week the group took part in a singing workshop with Bernadette Gifford who runs MMuDS’ Local Vocals program.
“There’s real value in training young people how to sing in a group,” said Bernadette, “many people believe they can’t sing, but after vocal coaching they come away with a different perspective.
“A lot of musicals require a chorus and this is how many people become involved initially in musical productions.”
Last year Actor Factory coordinator, Shannen Andrews, went to New York to update her drama and theatre skills and earlier this year attended the Victorian Drama League Youth Theatre program.
“The courses I have attended made me realise how valuable early training in drama is for young people,” said Shannen.
“When the opportunity came up to take on running the Actor Factory, I jumped at it.”
Actor Factory will run for the remainder of term 2, then depending on feedback and interest the MMuDS committee will consider offering further courses.
Through the involvement of volunteer trainers, MMuDS has managed to keep the cost of Actor Factory to an affordable $5 per week.
MMuDS president, Michael Isbister, said that the program had been most successful and he praised the participants who were keen, courteous, prepared to work in a group and willing to learn theatre skills.
“It’s our goal to invest in young people to assist their personal development and ensure the future of MMuDS,” he said.
Interest in the Actor Factory can be directed to secre[email protected] mmuds.org.au.
Young actors learn how to portray their characters on stage at the Mansfield Performing Arts Centre youth drama program.