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News > Feature - 'Jack and the Beanstalk' concludes youth programs' theater camp
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Children who participated in the weeklong Missoula Children’s Theatre program, hosted by Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Youth Programs, gather on stage after their performance of “Jack and the Beanstalk” Aug. 16 at the Randolph Fleenor Auditorium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Lindsey)
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'Jack and the Beanstalk' concludes youth programs' theater camp

Posted 8/22/2013   Updated 8/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Robert Goetz
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

8/22/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- One of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Youth Programs' most popular summer camps concluded Aug. 16 when some 60 students staged two performances of the centuries-old fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk."

The performances were the culmination of a weeklong residency for two tour actor/directors from the Missoula Children's Theatre of Missoula, Mont., who provided students in grades 2-12 with all the tools they needed - from choreography, costumes and props to lessons on acting, applying makeup and basic lighting - to stage the production at Fleenor Auditorium.

"It's an introduction to theater," Delia Gonzalez, 902nd Force Support Squadron Youth Programs child and youth program assistant, said. "It's awesome for the kids."

The Missoula Children's Theatre has been touring for 39 years, sending teams of two tour actor/directors, or TADs, to schools, military installations, community theaters and arts programs throughout the United States as well as 17 other countries. Its mission is the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts.

"It's a big confidence builder for the kids," Tawsha Jones, one of the TADs who visited Randolph, said. "It's a great experience for them."

Nick Wineman, another TAD who paired with Jones to facilitate the camp, said the weeklong session can have a dramatic impact on children's lives, allowing some to shed their shyness and blossom as performers.

"We see kids who are introverted get up on stage and completely shock their parents," he said.

Both Wineman and Jones, who are experienced actors, cut their teeth with the Missoula Children's Theatre program when they were younger.

"We did this as kids," Wineman said. "The experience of theater was a big stepping stone for me."

Wineman eventually earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater at the University of South Dakota while Jones is working toward a degree in theatrical design.

Gonzalez said she is impressed with the TADs' ability to accomplish so much in such a short time.

"They're very well-organized," she said. "They really have it down."

Chris Kiser, 902nd FSS Youth Programs school age coordinator, said auditions began Monday morning and, by afternoon, the students were already rehearsing.

"It's really neat to see how it goes from one giant audition to a great production with two high-quality shows," he said.

Gonzalez said the Missoula Children's Theatre, which has been visiting Randolph for years, is a much-anticipated session.

"Parents call in advance to see when Missoula Children's Theatre is coming," she said.
Students who are part of a Missoula production also look forward to participating in future sessions.

"Jack and the Beanstalk" was the fourth Missoula Children's Theatre play for Seth Vander Hamm, who played the lead role of Jack in this year's production. He has also participated in Missoula sessions at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and Ellsworth AFB, S.D.

"I would definitely say they've done a good job molding me and helping me in my acting," he said.

Vander Hamm said he's "hooked" on theatrical productions as a result of his participation in Missoula Children's Theatre.

"Once you get that feeling, and you're able to get on stage and express yourself, it's a lot of fun," he said.

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