Tomahawk Community Theater to hold second annual children’s summer workshop

Play performance slated for July

By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Community Theater recently announced that it is gearing up to hold its second annual Children’s Summer Theater Workshop ahead of a July play performance.

Terry Bucaro, President of Tomahawk Community Theater Inc., said she and her fellow workshop coaches “have a much better idea of what to expect” this year.

“Last summer, 11 students from 3rd grade through 8th grade showed up to participate in a two-week workshop,” Bucaro explained. “We were not sure that two short weeks would be enough time to put on an actual play. A pleasant surprise was the boy/girl ratio: we had seven boys and four girls.”

Bucaro said the coaches intended to teach workshop participants some theater skills, such as doing mock auditions, having the kids do speaking and acting tryouts and reading through the play – or at least, that was the original plan.

“However, we quickly learned that they wanted to perform in a play,” Bucaro stated. “And perform they did!”

Bucaro said the kids put on an “amazing” show, noting that they memorized their lines and helped each other out on stage.

“You would have thought they had been in show business for a long, long time,” she added. “We can only hope that our summer workshop kids learned as much as the coaches did. Each student was there because they wanted to be there.”

Bucaro gave a shoutout to Bob and Patty Soward and VFW Post 2687 in Tomahawk for hosting the show at the last minute, noting they provided a stage, seating for the audience and a welcoming venue for the group’s first play, all within a matter of a few days.

Looking ahead to this year’s workshop, Bucaro said the entire group of kids from last year is coming back, with two more girls and one more boy set to take part.

Last year’s group is set to return to this summer’s workshop, along with several new faces.

Pam and Jim Wise, Pat McLain, Kathy Rechsteiner, John Ramsey and Kristen DeBels will be joining Bucaro as volunteer coaches this summer.

Bucaro said the coaches’ first mission for the workshop is to introduce the art of theater to elementary- and middle school-aged kids.

“They will become familiar with what opportunities await them as they enter high school, and they can feel comfortable joining the high school drama team,” she stated. “I’m pleased to say that one of our summer kids was part of the one-act play last fall with the Tomahawk High School drama team.”

This year, the coaches want to once again provide a creative outlet.

“Each student brings something unique go the group, and together, they become a cooperative team,” Bucaro explained. “We want to inspire them to take direction well, to tactfully express individual opinions, to be patient with each other and to feel confident and open-minded. It’s inspiring to see how much they learn from observing each other in action. We want them all to feel like they belong to this group, and that their participation is important.”

Bucaro added that the coaches also aim for the experience to be “lots of fun” for the kids.

“We want them to feel good about themselves and proud of their accomplishment in putting on a play,” she said. “Last year, it was so rewarding to see the young actors respond to the audience reactions. As the audience clapped and laughed at the jokes during the play, the kids’ faces lit up, and they became more confident right before our eyes.”

Moving forward, the Tomahawk Community Theater is looking to expand the Children’s Theater Workshop.

“We’d like to recruit more staff leaders in order to meet the demand of more students who wish to get involved,” she explained. “We’d like to encourage additional generous ‘Friends of the Tomahawk Community Theater’ to sponsor a student.”

The cost per student is $100.00 for a two-week workshop, which covers the costs of scenery, props, costumes, a venue, scripts and performance royalty costs.

“We meet Monday through Friday for two weeks in July from 9 a.m. to noon for the workshop,” Bucaro said. “Including play practice and performance, it comes to approximately $3.00 an hour.”

This year’s play, performed by the children, will be held at the Tomahawk High School auditorium on Friday, July 19. The play is currently being written by Bucaro and Tomahawk author Brent Kelley.

More details will follow at and as the date gets closer.

Bucaro thanked the parents of the performers for “encouraging your young thespians to be a part of this delightful project.”

“Your kids are spectacular,” she said.

Pictured, from left, are the Masters of Ceremonies for Tomahawk Community Theater’s Tomahawk Has Talent Show, held at Road Lake Pub on Sunday, April 21: Micah Cerkas, Noah Bixby, Haylee Korzinek, Tilly Van Asten and Everett Hau. Photos courtesy of Tery Bucaro.
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