Guild Builders is the Actors Guild of Parkersburg's youth theatre program, offered at no cost to fourth through ninth graders in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Participants meet on Saturday mornings October - March from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Actors Guild, located at the corner of Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg. Each week students receive instruction in the performing arts. At the end of the program, students are part of a musical production for which the entire cast and crew are comprised of Guild Builders students. The selected musical for 2012-2013 is The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.
Guild Builders is a free program because of grants and community support. Guild Builders is sponsored by Camden Clark Medical Center and is funded in part by the Ohio River Border Initiative, a joint project of the Ohio Arts Council and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts; Belpre Area Community Development Foundation; Parkersburg Area Community Foundation; and Artsbridge United Arts Fund, and in partnership with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Parkersburg Arts Center.
There is no fee to participate in Guild Builders. Students will have to occasionally purchase required personal supplies such as make-up, cassette tapes and inexpensive tennis shoes for dance. This cost is minimal and arrangements can be made if the cost is a hardship for the family.
Saturday morning classes are led by staff, guest instructors, and professional artists. Basic classes which are included each year introduce participants to all aspects of the theatre arts:
• Performance Basics – learn and use skills related to blocking, projection, stage presence, stage movement, line memorization, etc.
• Playwriting and Producing – write and present original scenes on stage with the guidance of a visiting playwright.
• Acting – learn how to present a character on stage.
• Set Construction – learn about building a set by working on your show.
• Technical Roles - gain an understanding of the work that goes on behind the scenes of a show.
• Music & Dance – receive instruction on singing and dancing as part of the performance preparation.
• Makeup – learn about basic stage makeup as well as special techniques.
• Costumes – work on costumes that help to tell the audience about the character.
Specialty classes change each year but have included in the past safe stage combat, accents, animal movement, and Halloween makeup tricks.
Participation in the program requires a commitment by members and their parents for prompt and faithful attendance on Saturday mornings and at mid-week rehearsals as required once the production's rehearsal process begins in November. Parents. Guild Builders is provided at no cost in part due to the participation of the volunteer staff and parents. Therefore, parental participation is a requirement. During the year, parents are scheduled to assist 4 times during the year. (We will work around your schedule.) Many parents enjoy learning, too, and end up helping out more than is required! A full calendar is included in the registration packet.
The Technical Group is Guild Builders’ tech-only component of the program. At the beginning of the year, all students will participate in all of the classes each week. However, once the cast of the musical begins rehearsals, the Technical Group begins focusing more on the technical work of the theatre. They will still participate with all Guild Builders students in classes; however, as the cast rehearses for the musical, the Technical Group will work on their technical skills. Although these students will not appear in Flat Stanley, their work will also culminate in the production: they will have worked on constructing the set, and they will make up the technical crew for each performance.
To obtain a registration packet, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Teresa Wilkinson at (304) 991-0039. Packets will be mailed on July 1 to interested students entering grades four through nine. Applicants are accepted into the program on a first-come-first-served basis in the order in which their applications are received. Students will be placed on a waiting list after the 47 cast positions and 12 Technical Group positions are filled.