A Downriver theatre production company is up to a lot of good, offering some great summer opportunities for kids of all ages!
Acting Out Productions (AOP) rehearses and performs at the Royal Majestic Theater inside of Trillium Academy on Racho Road in Taylor, and this is a busy time of year for them!
Currently, AOP is preparing to open an R-rated Tony-winning musical, Next to Normal (but don’t stop reading yet – there are lots of family-friendly things happening soon). While Next to Normal would make a great date night (get discounted tickets at actingoutdownriver.com/jazzhands), the folks at AOP are using the show as a catalyst for conversation to de-stigmatize mental illness. The show itself revolves around a suburban family whose matriarch suffers from bipolar disorder. Don’t let the description fool you – the show is beautiful, and brings a message of hope in the least expected places. As a suburbanite living with bipolar disorder, Music Director Sarah Altenburg feels a special attachment to the show. “Come celebrate the uniqueness that is each one of us, and help us to use (and perhaps more importantly, to share) the available onsite resources to better yourself, your loved ones, and our community as a whole,” she wrote in a Facebook-published open letter to the community. AOP will have some local support on hand to provide resources and guidance for all who are interested in researching self-care or how to care for a loved one who is living with mental illness. Performances will be held May 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 7:30pm, and May 7 at 3:00pm.
AOP began as a youth theatre group, and they stay true to their roots. While they offer 2-3 productions each year that feature adults, they offer 5-6 opportunities each year for young performers of all ability levels. They’re preparing now for May auditions for two summer productions: Jack and the Beanstalk for performers ages 3-10, and Anything Goes for performers ages 8-19. Both shows guarantee parts for all who audition, so if your performer is just getting started, they won’t have to face the fear of rejection. Creative Director Liza Altenburg said, “It’s a fantastic way for kids to get started in theatre, to test the waters and learn about performing arts and decide whether or not it’s something they want to pursue.” AOP is the only theatre company in the area that boasts just once-per-week rehearsals, leaving the majority of the week for other summer fun. “We know the summertime is busy,” said Business Director Julia Doddie. “We want to be sure that our performers aren’t stuck inside all summer.”
On top of the two full productions this summer, Acting Out Productions will also be offering half- and full-day workshops in many subjects including dance, improv, characterization, and auditioning skills. The full workshop series will be announced soon, so watch their Facebook page for details – facebook.com/actingoutdownriver.