Unique Teen Actor Training Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary

August 06, 2017

2017 Teen Acting Program Celebrates "A Decade of Drama"

Celebration Includes Special August 11 Free Performance

This summer marks ten years that aspiring high school actors from ages 14-18 have "raised the bar" for themselves and trained in the Teen Advanced Performance Intensive (API)—a demanding, audition-based, two-week acting conservatory program at Wheelock Family Theatre.

Program Director Fran Weinberg with teensSince 2008, director of the program Fran Weinberg and her dedicated team of professional artist/educators have worked with numerous teen actors from the Boston area and across New England.

The teens are given intensive training in a variety of acting skills and techniques, voice and movement work, and scene study and character work. They continually explore challenging roles from classic and contemporary plays, creating exciting and unique ensemble work.

(Pictured: Program Director Fran Weinberg with API students)

This program was designed to give serious, dedicated high school students a training program that would teach the tools needed for an actor's process individually, as well as with a scene partner and in an ensemble. Admission to the program requires an in-depth working audition and a personal interview. The students who are accepted share a similar passion for acting and a strong desire to deepen their knowledge of the craft with other like-minded young actors who want to immerse themselves in this work. They all share the goal of breaking through their barriers in order to get to the next level. Many of our API teens have returned to the program two, three, and four times over the past decade.

Alumni from the past decade are currently enrolled in and have studied at the top acting conservatories in the country and are working in theatre, film, and television, and are pursuing careers in New York, Los Angeles, and across the country. Many have been inspired to bring their knowledge and skills to other aspiring actors, and are working as theatre educators in this area and in training programs all around the world.

Aug. 11 Free Performance and Special Anniversary Events

Actors in WFT Teen IntensiveFor this reunion summer, Wheelock Family Theatre has invited back API alumni from the past nine years for alumni visits. Many alums are returning to share with the 2017 Teen Ensemble their memories and experiences in the program, how it has shaped and affected them, and the paths they have taken in their lives.

The program will also be celebrating its "Decade of Drama" and honoring its alumni as VIP guests at the annual workshop showcase on the Wheelock Family Theatre Mainstage on Friday, August 11, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. This performance is free and open to the public.

This showcase includes a Talkback with the Teens and is the culmination of the two weeks of this demanding and invigorating teen actors boot camp.

This summer's intensive showcase will explore three memorable dramas that created unique challenges for some of our teen actors over the decade. In addition, the 2017 teens are working on a new ensemble contemporary comedy that mashes up Shakespeare's characters from different plays in scenes of first dates in a restaurant where the patrons are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The 2017 Teen API Students are performing excerpts from the following plays:

The 2017"The Elephant Man" by Bernard Pomerance
"My Sister In This House" by Wendy Kesselman
"Back Story" by Joan Ackermann
"To Date Or Not To Date' by Jason and Marie Pizzarello

Learn More about Wheelock Family Theatre Education Programs

Learn more about the Teen Advanced Performance Intensive and other Wheelock Family Theatre education programs at wheelockfamilytheatre.org.

WFT's Teen API has worked on excerpts from the following plays over the past decade:

2008
"Antigone", by Sophocles
"Mary Stuart", Stephen Spender's translation of Schiller play
"A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams
"Desire Under The Elms" by Eugene O'Neill

2009
"Pseudolus" by Plautus
"Amadeus" by Peter Shaffer
"The Heiress" by Ruth and Augustus Goetz
"A View From The Bridge" by Arthur Miller

2010
"Medea" by Euripedes
"The Elephant Man" by Bernard Pomerance
"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
"Lettice and Lovage" by Peter Shaffer

2011
"Helen" by Euripedes
"Learned Ladies" by Moliere
"Hedda Gabler" by Ibsen
"Arms and The Man" by Shaw

2012
"My Sister In This House" by Wendy Kesselman
"The Rainmaker" by N. Richard Nash
"Back Story" by Joan Ackermann

2013
"The Necklace" by Guy deMaupassant
"The Diary of Adam and Eve" by Mark Twain
"Metamorphoses" by Mary Zimmerman

2014
"The Case of the Crushed Petunias" by Tennessee Williams
"Blithe Spirit" by Noel Coward
"Asleep On The Wind" by Ellen Byron
"Lovers" by Brian Friel
"The Women of Lockerbie" by Deborah Brevoort

2015
"Book of Ruth" by Deborah Lynn Frockt
"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams
"For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls" by Christopher Durang
"A Separate Peace" by John Knowles
"Ladies of The Tower" by Tim Kelly & Ruth Perry

2016
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" by Neil Simon
"Last Train to Nibroc" by Arlene Hutton
"The Bear" by Anton Chekhov
"Medea" comic parody by Christopher Durang

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