Constellation Stage and Screen will begin its second fall session of all-ages theater, film and musical theater classes on Oct. 10.
Since the theater companies Cardinal Stage, Bloomington Playwright’s Project and Pigasis Institute merged this summer, the collective Constellation Stage and Screen has worked to nurture students’ passions for performing arts throughout south-central Indiana, according to the company's website.
Classes will kick off on Oct. 10 with Short Film Project for Adults, an eight-week immersive course that guides students through pre-production, production and post-production of filmmaking. Acting for Kids classes, which will explore beginner-level acting and character techniques, will begin Oct. 26. Acting for Adults will begin the same day and focus on more master-level techniques.
Other fall course offerings include the Musical Theater Workshop for ages 16 and older, which will teach students about song structure, performance and projection starting Oct. 27. Theater Playground for Littles is a playful introduction to creative thinking and storytelling for kindergarteners through second graders. The course will begin Oct. 29.
Improv class for Kids, starting on Oct. 31, will teach students how to trust their artistic impulses while performing. Finally, Acting for Teens will begin on the same day, and teach prospective actors tools to feel confident on stage.
Constellation Lead Instructor Devin May teaches Acting for Teens, Acting for Kids and Theater Playground for Littles. May is an actor himself, and will perform in Constellation’s upcoming rendition of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” He said teaching has helped him hone his acting skills, and working with kids has taught him new perspectives to view different materials.
For May, theater classes can teach valuable life skills to anyone who’s interested.
“We're learning about how to harness our creativity and make bold choices,” May said. “Those are things that no matter where you go in life, they'll help you along the way.”
Overall, May said teaching has helped him build an artistic vision through a community larger than himself.
“It fulfills my directing impulse because as a director, my drive is to create an ensemble, create a team that feels like it's bigger than the sum of its parts,” May said.
Filmmaking Instructor Emelie Flower is currently working on Short Film Project classes for teens and kids. In October, she will kick off the adult short film projects. Flower said the best part about leading the film projects is seeing students collaborate and build friendships with one another.
“I love seeing as they start to build these stories and these ideas and learn together,” Flower said. “You really start to see these friendships grow. By the time they get to our shooting day, they're passionate about it, and they want to work together.”
Education Director Eric Shelley agreed – he said his favorite part about Constellation’s education programming is seeing people come together. Shelley said he enjoys watching kids who haven’t found their “tribes” come out of their shells or seeing the adult improv members go out to Upland Brewing after class to get a drink together.
“It's the community building that's so important,” Shelley said. “When people come here, and they finally find somebody that they can connect with in a way that is different from their everyday lives.”
Ultimately, Shelley said he hopes students of all ages can develop their love and skill for storytelling in their fall classes.
“We're giving them a voice to be heard,” Shelley said. “Which is what all human beings deserve in this world.”
Details on tuition costs for each course, age requirements and registration are available on Constellation’s website.