While the unwelcome appearance of COVID-19 initially shut down the local theater group’s summer 2020 season, Hutton’s Hamlet in Oakdale has rebounded with new class offerings that adhere to the state’s health safety mandates.
Upon arrival, every student will have their temperature taken with a touchless, forehead thermometer. If anyone’s temperature is over 100.4 degrees, they will be sent home. Every participant is required to wear a facial mask to class (please no bandanas or neck gaiters). Classes have been designed to be socially distant. Class sizes will be no larger than eight participants and chairs will be spaced six-feet apart. Masks can be taken off when working individually with the instructor or when performing. Hand sanitizer bottles will be placed throughout the space for students’ use and surfaces will be sanitized in between classes.
The new classes, ranging from Intro To Theatre to The Art Of Clowning, will start in September with registration on a first-come, first-served basis.
According to owner Annette Hutton, the possibility of October classes will depend upon the success of the September class reception but they are excited about offering something new for the 22nd season.
The classes will be as follows:
Intro to Theatre
Instructors: Annette Hutton and Emily Frantz
Sept. 21 – Oct. 2, Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
This class will cover stage directions, improvisations, personal expression, using the voice, group theatre games, and stage movements. A full play performance isn’t possible (due to COVID restrictions) but the class will spend the second week applying the skills in short, one-act plays.
No experience necessary. Limited slots available.
Instructor: Emily Frantz
Sept. 21 – Oct. 2, Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Students will learn the type of dance seen on a Broadway stage. Students will learn designed choreography from a selection of musicals such as “Mary Poppins,” “Hairspray,” “Seussical,” and many more. Sessions will cover various aspects of performing, including; technique, facial expressions, storytelling, etc.
Please wear attire suitable for movement and closed-toed shoes. Students may want to bring socks or jazz shoes for easier movement.
No dance experience needed. Limited slots available.
The Art of Clowning (1A)
Instructor: Emily Frantz
Sept. 21 – Oct. 2, Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Students will discover their inner clown through the fun activities.
Eli Simon, professor at UC Irvine and author of “The Art Of Clowning” states, “We all have an inner clown living somewhere inside us. Clowning reveals profound aspects of your own persona - often called your “inner child.”
Simon goes on to explain, “If you have trepidation about being reduced to a maniacal clown that scares the neighborhood kids, fear not: there are many beneficial reasons to clown because it steadily encourages you to: perform with a high level of energy and commitment, stretch your range of playable actions, and make moment-to-moment discoveries.”
Students will learn what it means “to clown” and who their clown is.
“This was one of my favorite classes to take at UC Irvine,” Instructor Frantz said, “and I am so excited to pass along this fun and different style of entertaining and learning.”
This class requires a red clown nose (provided) and it is highly encouraged students purchase “The Art of Clowning” by Eli Simon before attending class.
Also, please bring a notebook and pen/pencil to class every day. Please wear all black (or muted colors with no logos, if possible) and closed-toed shoes.
Some performance experience suggested. Limited slots available.
Hutton added that they are still working out the kinks as they move forward with the new monthly class offerings but they are eager to give it a try and encourage community feedback.
For more information or to register for classes, call Richard Hutton at 209-848-1216.