After-school program creates original show

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Barn Arts Collective, a local performing arts organization, will present the final performance from their after-school devising theater program, Make a Show, at the American Legion Hall on Friday, April 14, at 5:30 p.m.

Participants in the program, ranging in age from 7 to 11 years old, worked for the past eight weeks on building the characters and scenes for their original show, titled “The Case of the Missing Theatre-Makers.” Andrew Simon and Brittany Parker, artistic directors of Barn Arts, helped the young artists craft the narrative for the story while teaching them about performance techniques and ensemble building.

“We found that improvisation at this age group is essential to the theater-making process,” said Parker.

“We started from scratch – no guiding story or theme. We encouraged the students to let their imaginations take the reins as they created characters and then encouraged them to build interactions and connections with other characters. Andrew and I organized the fruits of this improvisational work into the narrative of the final show.”

The program is a partnership with the Village Green Arts Association and the Harbor House Community Service Center, where the class has met every Wednesday for the past few months. The association, which received a grant from the Hancock County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, invited the Barn Arts Collective to run the Make a Show program, which was offered at no cost to the participants.

“The Village Green Arts Association was delighted to provide young people on the west side of the island with this free program,” said Jim Mitchell, board treasurer.

“Arts education is an important aspect of our mission, and we’re grateful that Harbor House and Barn Arts helped make this opportunity a reality.”

Admission is free. Refreshments will be available. Audience members are welcome to make a donation to the Village Green Arts at the performance, which will go towards supporting future arts education programs in Southwest Harbor.

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