THEATRE ARTS FOR KIDS
Young aspiring musical theatre performers in Lincoln, Nebraska, are fortunate. Whether their interests lie in dance, vocal performance or musicianship, Lincoln’s Theatre Arts for Kids offers a range of challenging programs not often found outside of major metropolitan areas.
Though a combination of workshops, after school programs and private instruction, Theatre Arts for Kids (TAFK) presents a variety of opportunities for a performing arts education, and works to create experiences for a broad range of age groups and ability levels.
Led by Executive Director and Artistic Director Leah Kolar, TAFK provides the total theatre experience, from auditioning, rehearsing, polishing and performing to warm-ups and exercises designed to enhance concentration and focus.
As with any youth program, setting clear expectations for participants-and their parents- is critically important. Kolar’s parent’s guide covers everything from rehearsal attendance and dress codes to accepting casting decisions with grace. She says, “Casting can be the most difficult and challenging part of the process for young performers and parents of young performers. It is important with this age group to encounter the children to embrace whatever role they get.”
Security First Bank senior vice president and TAFK board member Susie Twiehaus is one of TAFK’s biggest fans. “Their productions are amazing.” says Twiehaus. “Everything is so well done; it truly is professional musical theatre, performed by young people.”
A number of TAFK alumnae have transitioned to collegiate programs, including Susie’s daughter, Susan, who studies vocal performance on scholarship at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. “Theatre Arts for Kids provided an incredible platform for Susan to perform and grow as an artist.” says Twiehaus. “She also learned so many life lessons along the way, like the value of professionalism, teamwork and helping others, which she does now as an assistant director during the summer.”
TAFK is currently rehearsing James and the Giant Peach, which will be performed July 28th and 29th in Lincoln. For tickets or to learn more about Theatre Arts for Kids in Lincoln, go to TAFK.org.