O.C. Theatre Company Stages Comeback Amid COVID Crisis

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEFor 13 years, the Ocean City Theatre Company has captivated and entertained audiences with performances showcasing young talents in productions, dance numbers and song.The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the OCTC’s summer series held each year at the Music Pier. Much of the theatre company classes were held virtually.Now, while adhering strictly to CDC guidelines, the theatre company is making a comeback by offering an impressive lineup of musical theatre, acting and dance classes for students in grades 8th through 12th grade, as well as for adults.There will be mandatory face coverings, a limited enrollment of 10 participants per class and pre-class health screenings.Michael Hartman, the city’s special events coordinator and OCTC founder, explained that the classes will be an opportunity for students and adults at a time when theatre has been closed due CDC restrictions amid the pandemic.“As always, OCTC provides a safe space for performers of all ages to push their creativity and develop confidence,” Hartman noted. “We have also gone above and beyond to make sure these offerings meet CDC guidelines so that we are being smart about coming together in a COVID-19 world.”Students pose in 2019 during a rehearsal of “School House Rocks Live!” (Photo courtesy OCTC)And with so many shows canceled, theaters shuttered and school productions on hold, OCTC is enabling students and adults to continue honing their crafts so that when things reopen, they will be ready.“OCTC is constantly looking for ways to provide for the community and to stay relevant at a time when traditional performing arts productions can’t operate under current guidelines,” he added.The expansion of the adult activities will give adults some time to de-stress.“A blessing of this year was that we have had time and flexibility to expand our adult activities that have not been part of our 13-year history. Our adult classes will be a chance for social interaction, dust off talents from a younger time in life or try something totally new a different,” Hartman emphasized.All of the classes will be held at the theatre’s headquarters at 1501 West Ave. Advance registration must be completed by Oct. 1. To register or learn more, visit the education page of http://oceancitytheatrecompany.com/Classes for students give the young talents a way to hone their skills even while theatre is shut down.“These classes provide wonderful opportunities for youth to fine tune their craft so that when productions are back on stages across America, the participants of the classes are stronger performers because they have focused on technique and not just the rehearsal and performance process,” Hartman pointed out.Here are some of the opportunities that OCTC will offer starting Monday, October 5:Musical Theatre Styles For Youth In Grades 8th-12thStudents will explore the scene work that surrounds classic and current Broadway hits. Participants will learn musical theatre performance techniques paired with several classic musical theatre production numbers. Classes will run Monday evenings starting Oct. 5 through Nov. 2.Broadway star Michael Lee Brown, at left, pictured at OCTC in 2017, will lead a class.Musical Theatre Dance Class For AdultsParticipants will learn the classic Broadway style of dance along with some fitness/movement fun. Participants will work on the building blocks of this specific style with an emphasis on movement quality and high-energy body movements.Participants will learn multiple combinations from various Broadway musicals throughout the session. This class is open to anyone over the age of 18 and all ability levels. Classes will be held Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. starting Oct. 6 through Nov. 3.High School Acting and Monologue Class Taught By Broadway Star Michael Lee Brown From The Tony Award-Winning Cast of Dear Evan Hansen.This class will teach students how to bring a monologue to life. Students will learn how to develop characters, explore depth of emotion, transport themselves into the understanding and circumstances of the character and deliver a strong, performance-ready monologue.This class is open to students in 9th-12th grades and there are two sessions that will run Wednesday evenings beginning Oct. 7 through Nov. 4. It should be noted that Michael Lee Brown is a product of Ocean City Theatre Company’s summer theatre camps and professional company, so this will be an incredible way to welcome him back home to OCTC.Adult Acting Classes This class will focus on scene work, partner work and monologues. Participants will be challenged with learning theatre vocabulary, researching the play, analyzing the script and work to bring characters to life. This class is open to anyone over the age of 18 of all ability levels. Classes will be held Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. starting Oct. 8 through Nov. 5. The OCTC will once again offer young talents dance, acting and singing classes starting next month. This photo was taken during a 2019 rehearsal for “Guys and Dolls.” (Photo courtesy OCTC)last_img

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