Kymberli Skye…July 2016 -On Friday, July 15th, the humble Artists Foundry at New Village Arts was packed with parents and grandparents all eagerly awaiting the children’s performance of Thumbelina. For the past week, these six kids and three teen counselors have been hard at work painting sets, making masks, improving, and memorizing their lines in the fifteen minute performance based on the novel by Hans Christian Anderson. And now, they are about to tackle a huge fear: performing in front of an audience! And it was well worth their efforts, and it’s all thanks to instructor and director Aleta Barthell.
Aleta Barthell started Kids Act about fourteen years ago and has been working at New Village Arts in Carlsbad for the past six years. This program was born out of the need to create a safe space for children to learn to voice their own creativity, thoughts, opinions, and feelings and to learn to value each other’s. In this one-week camp, these kids strengthen their language and communication skills, gain confidence, and learn about self-expression. Aleta uses theatre as the way to connect with “what’s inside and bringing that out” with these kids. Of course they play games, but these games allow kids to explore different voices, bodies, characters, and circumstances. Improv games allow kids to speak, listen, and trust each other. And they all have such a joy in this work! Every child said that their favorite part of the camp was making new friends.
Their next performance will be Pinduli, written and illustrated by Carlsbad resident Janell Cannon. Summer Camp will be August 1 – 5th, with a performance on Friday, August 5th. And of course, volunteers are always welcome. If you’re looking for community service opportunities or more experience in the theatre, contact Aleta about becoming a counselor.
Photos by Kymberli Skye
Wanting more of Kids Act? Please visit these websites – you can find more information about Aletha Barthell, Kids Act, camps and classes, and the partnership with New Village Arts.