ACS Theatre Summit Grows for Its Second Year

Slideshow of the 2017 Summit

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ACS Theatre Summit Grows for Its Second Year

Zach Bennett, Reporter

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Alden High School’s Theatre Club is planning for its 2nd Annual Alden Theatre Development Summit. Last year, high school Theatre Club officers posed this idea to “join forces” with the Alden Middle School theatre students for a weekend full of strengthening specific skill sets and collaboration. Organizers of the event, known as Student Ambassadors, set the event up for grades 7-12. Students attended a full weekend of events taking eight workshops, participating in four team building activity times, five sit-down meals, and a showcase where students performed skills learned in front of their peers and families.

Presenters for the workshops ranged from the directors themselves, to Theatre Educators, professional dance instructors, and even a stage combat coach. In its pilot year, students worked through the challenges of event planning having to overcome such hurdles as, organizing the workshops, communicating to presenters, individually scheduling all attendees, and more!

This year, student organizers are working off of feedback from their peers from last year to drive this summit forward. The organizers have been working with Mr. Masci (Theatre Club Advisor) to gear the workshops to specific skills that may be immediately needed, compared to ones that were more broad.

“This year, we’ve decided to gear each of the workshops specifically for the theatre season ahead. While students don’t know in advance what the shows are, we are working on ‘top secret’ plans with our presenters that will contribute to the success of our season.”

This shows that the Theatre Summit would not only serve a long term goal of self-development, but that students would reap the benefits of the workshops much sooner as they essentially get a ‘leg up’ in the 2018-19 school year. Of course, in “Smalltown USA” secrets can’t be kept for long and students would certainly pick up on it during their workshops, wouldn’t they?

To this Masci said “You’re right…..and we think thats okay. There is a lot of excitement in the air right now for “what’s next”. So, we’re going to embrace that energy and drive the group forward and set them up for success now….maybe give them time to really work towards a role they care about. So the plan right now is that Mrs. Tryka, Mrs. Farrell, and I are going to publicly announce the season at the opening ceremony of the summit weekend.”

This is certainly exciting news to not only the school community, but for every theatre student in the district. Historically, theatre directors in the district wait to reveal their show selections until late Summer for the year ahead. With the incredible success of Disney’s Aladdin Jr., The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Seussical, this just shows that Alden’s theatre team is always thinking about the next ‘big thing’.

The 2nd Annual Theatre Development Summit will feature Technical Theatre workshops from GCC’s Theatre Tech Dept., Stage Combat by a professional stage combat coach, tap dance workshops from a professional Dance Instructor, Vocal Workshops by a vocal coach, and more! Masci said that “the goal is to bring local professionals right to our kids under one roof”. The theatre summit is the weekend of May 5th 2018 and only costs students $15 which covers the cost of food for the weekend. Theatre students were mailed  information over the break. Anyone with questions can contact the organizers at

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