Author And Playwright To Host Theater Workshop At Lakewood Library

uthor Yoli’s Theater Games Workshop aims to get area residents from children to senior citizens into character.

The Lakewood Memorial Library, 12 E. Summit St. in Lakewood, is set to host a workshop directed by Yoli from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The workshop will primarily focus on improvisation.

Yoli, the author of the award-winning “Cruisin’ Sarah,” is also an actor, playwright, theater director and instructor who earned a Master of Fine Arts in writing for children at Chatham University of Pittsburgh, Pa.

According to Mary Miller, library director, Yoli, who is new to the neighborhood, stopped by the library to donate some books. While having a conversation with Miller, Yoli mentioned that she hoped to get more involved with the theater community of the area.

“We talked, and we thought that we could come up with a program she could do,” Miller said. “We came up with improvisation, which is fun and doesn’t require any extra knowledge. I’ve never been to one of her workshops, but I’m going to this one.”

To tie the event in with the Halloween season, Miller and Yoli decided to allow participants to come dressed in their Halloween costumes.

“We thought that because the workshop is right after Halloween maybe we could have people bring their costumes – it should be a fun day,” Miller said. “We decided we’re going to try this for both children and adults to see who in the community is interested. Hopefully next year we can have some more events.”

Yoli, who moved to Lakewood with her husband this summer, will host the event as a way of becoming involved with the community. She hopes that it will not only bring in those who are interested in her workshop, but also generate interest in the library.

“Mary and I thought it would be a great way for people to come to the library to get their library card and see something different – in particular, theater arts,” Yoli said. “Improvisation is great for everybody, and it’s a very interactive, playful endeavor. We’re just going to have a little fun – it’s nothing terribly serious.”

In addition to improvisation, the workshop will also focus on acting, concentration, imagination and creativity. For the workshop Yoli will wear a witch’s hat, and she encourages others to bring their costumes as well, she said.

“When we get up there to play characters and do group activities or mimes we may be able to become a different person to hide behind another personality if people are shy,” Yoli said.

Although the event is open to area residents of all ages, in particular theater activities are a great way to get kids to learn to work together, Yoli said.

“It’s a very social thing, and we don’t do it alone – theater is a collaborative artform,” she continued. “Kids use their imagination, lose a little inhibition, be creative and discover things about themselves or their partners – they enjoy communication in a different way.”

Yoli’s website, www.yoliworld.net, promotes theater and reading for youth as well as provides more information about her work. For more information call the library at 763-6234.