If you're a student in fourth through ninth grade and interested in learning more about musical theater, YoungStars director Cassie Jurgenson can help. She is teaching a two-day musical theater workshop titled Youth Musical Theatre Intensive during winter break: 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 30-31, at the Hutchinson Middle School. The fee is $20.
"This intensive will provide a fun, educational outlet for youth during both winter and spring school breaks," Jurgenson said. "It deeper connects young performers to the experiences of professional theater artists, as well as the importance of theater's many forms."
According to Jurgenson, one of the guest artists who is teaching dance during the intensive is performing on the Guthrie Theater stage in the current production of "A Christmas Carol."
"The 2019-20 team includes a variety of theater artists from the local Hutchinson area, the Twin Cities and beyond," she said.
A minimum of 20 students is needed to conduct the class, with a maximum of 40 allowed.
Jurgenson plans to have two rotation groups: grades 4-6 and grades 7-9. Rotations include specific instruction on voice, dance and acting, reflecting the difficulty level within the grade/age of each group.
HOW IT STARTED
The idea for the winter and spring school break workshops came from students and families who participated in the Hutchinson Theatre Company's YoungStars program. They wanted additional theater opportunities for youth in the Hutchinson area.
"My aim is to further support individual growth, revolving around the idea of enhancing each area of the musical theater stage: acting, singing and dance," Jurgenson said. "By connecting all three of these skill areas, students will have the opportunity to grow in their own strengths and (improve their) weaknesses in musical theater performance."
The University of Minnesota student brings a wealth of experience to this project. Jurgenson has appeared in school productions as well as on the Hutchinson Theatre Company stage. She participated in YoungStars as a student, student mentor, assistant director and this past summer as its second director, following in the footsteps of Mary Haugen, well-known Hutchinson actor and director.
“I really enjoy the teaching aspect of it,” she said in an earlier Leader interview. “I love teaching about acting and theater in general.”
Jurgenson is also offering the theater workshop during spring break: 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, March 11-13. The fee for that workshop is $30. To register for the winter session, spring session or both, visit bit.ly/2rllWx4 or call 320-587-2975.
"I'm passionate about bringing more opportunities involving different aspects of the arts to youth of all backgrounds," she said, "especially to youth in the community where I gained my own love for the arts."
Whether new to the stage or a theater veteran, Jurgenson believes students can all learn something new.
"Our team is excited to dive into some of the aspects of musical theater," she said, "and we hope many students will be, too."