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Performing arts interest is growing

Being on stage can be an empowering experience that frees you to act in dramatic and expressive ways.

Being a public speaker has also been considered to be one of the most stressful and difficult experiences that a person can endure, often cited as causing a great deal of fear.

How do you respond when you are placed in the public eye?

The school district and the community education programs offer many experiences that allow students to learn how to “do performing arts.”

The high school is working on the production of the annual one-act play in preparation for the one-act contest. The 2013 production is “Any Suspicious Activity” by Roger Nieboer under the direction of Gary Hirsch.

There will be a public performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium before the show goes to sub-sections Jan. 26 and sections Feb. 2. Tickets will be sold at the door for the public performance.

Pequot Lakes fine arts activities include speech. Currently 33 students are practicing for competition in one of the following speech categories: Creative Expression, Discussion, Duo Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Extemporaneous Reading, Extemporaneous Speaking, Great Speeches, Humorous Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Original Oratory, Poetry, Prose and Storytelling.

The speech program is under the direction of Ivanna Buchite, head coach, and Heather Pearson, assistant coach.

Festival of the Arts is a time for visual arts and performing arts work of the elementary, middle level and high school students and community artists to go on display. Check it out from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the high school.

To set up a display as a community artist, contact Dave Guenther at 218-568-9252.

Pequot Lakes Community Theater (PLCT) recently completed auditions for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” There are 40-plus youth and adult actors working to bring this show on stage in March with the leadership of Kate Davis, director, and Ben Gordon, assistant director.

The story of the ongoing battle between good and evil is an engaging one that will make you glad you took the time to come and see the performance.

The PLCT has provided 60-plus community theater productions for the local area since 1983. The community theater is a major part of the Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts (GLAPA) programming. GLAPA offers high quality, affordable arts programming for the greater Brainerd lakes area.

Technical theater, taught by CJ Anderson, provides a chance to learn how to operate the sound system, lights and rigging of the Pequot Lakes theater. Trained technical workers are used to conduct the theater productions and other school performances.

The spring high school play provides an opportunity for high school students to perform and provide tech support for a production.

Summer programming options: Young Performers Day Camp has been offered for two years. The experience has given students an opportunity to perform in a variety show setting led by Susan Mathison-Young.

Summer Drama Camp, Prairie Fire Children’s Theater in Pine River and the Fisherman’s Theater in Crosslake are other community based performing arts programs that enrich our community, too.

If acting or speaking in front of the public is not your cup of tea, perhaps you are ready to support the folks on stage or up front by attending one or more of the fine arts experiences and cheering on the efforts of the thespians, speech makers and techies.

(Julie Despot is director of Pequot Lakes Community Education.)