Youtheatre Workshop, The Prodigal Clown, Mixes Theater And Faith

BEMUS POINT – Family Life will hold its five-day Youtheatre Workshop that runs July 22-26 at Bemus Point United Methodist Church. Performing arts instructors will offer aspiring students ages 8-15 training in the theatre arts, including acting, stagecraft, makeup, costuming and voice. Workshop sessions are every morning, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

On Friday, July 26, about 60 young drama enthusiasts in first to ninth grade will showcase their newly learned skills with a musical production of “The Prodigal Clown,” written by Cyndi Nine, Rob Howard and David Guthrie. Friday’s performance will be held at Bemus Point United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Admission is free. The church is located at 4954 Bemus Ellery Road.

The five-day drama workshop is a Christian-based program that aims to help young people explore and develop their artistic talents.

“Each student works incredibly hard on and off stage – singing songs, memorizing lines and learning how to work together,” said Darren Litz, director of performing arts for Family Life.

“The best part is watching these budding young actors discover their abilities and find new ways of making the Bible come to life,” says Litz. “Workshop after workshop, we see students growing in their faith as they learn about God through the arts. It’s an honor to be involved.”

“The Prodigal Clown” is a modern interpretation of a Biblical story about the prodigal son, interwoven with clowns, lion tamers, trapeze artists and human cannonballs. The spotlight comes up on the Parabalini family circus. Antonio, the father, is a good and fair man who makes a living as a circus leader. AJ, the oldest son, and Giorgio, his little brother, both work for their father.

One day, after complaining about his situation, Giorgio asserts that the world must have more fun things to do. Decidedly, the youngster son goes off in selfish pursuit and spends his father’s money. During his long and difficult journey, Giorgio comes to the realization that being in his father’s circus was where he belonged all along. Giorgio returns home ashamed, but to his great delight, is joyfully welcomed back by his father despite his mistakes.

Registrations are $95/student and $80 for each additional sibling, and can be made by calling 1-800-927-9083 or by visiting www.fln.org. Only 60 youth are accepted for the workshop on a first-come, first-served basis and classes fill quickly.