East Longmeadow Recreation Department will empower children to get ‘creative’ in theater arts

EAST LONGMEADOW – Deputy Director of Leisure Services Kristine Foster was looking for a different type of program to offer to young people in the town.

“We run great sports programs,” Foster said, but the recreation department was interested in offering more programs that aren’t sports related. Jessica Stacy, Administrative Assistant in the Hospitality and Recreation Department, considered and chose theater.

Foster and Stacy worked with St. Michael’s Players producer and assistant director Rose Stella to develop an introductory theater program. The program, “Kreative Kids: Intro to Theater Arts,” is open to East Longmeadow children in grades 3-8.

Two teachers from local elementary schools will lead the eight weeks, which will meet twice a week at the First Congregational Church by at the rotary. There are less than 20 people registered so far, but the program has room for 30.

“Our goal is to make it work seasonally,” Foster said. She said the department wanted to be able to put on a performance for each season.

Kreative Kids won’t just be a comedy. Attendees will also have the chance to explore staging, costumes and stage technology. The recreation department brochure said the children would work on “role play, improvisation, vocal techniques, dance, character understanding and expression through voice and movement”.

For those not interested in theatre, the Recreation Department offers other non-athletic youth programs. These include summer camps, aquatic lessons, STEAM programs and sensory programs for young children. Recreation department director Donna Prather said the department recently held a sports and film broadcasting course with East Longmeadow Community Access Television director Don Maki. Later this year, there will be a Valentine’s Day “Someone Special Dance”, an Earth Day Egg Hunt and Cleanup.

A full schedule of programs is available at https://eastlongmeadowma.myrec.com.

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