Athens Arts Council Classes Help Make Dreams Into Reality – Daily Post Athenian, Athens, Tennessee, USA

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


GREG MOSES Staff Writer


Have you ever dreamed of being on stage but let your superego convince you to stay in the audience? Or would you participate if you knew how to get started?


Either way, the Athens Area Council for the Arts says now is the time to “Get Out of the Audience and Onto the Stage.”


Part of the Summer Arts Sampler, this AACA class is designed to help potential thespians build their self-confidence by learning basic audition and acting techniques, play-acting terminology, how to prepare audition monologues and music, and how to prepare to be in a play.


“People sometimes don’t know what they need to do when it comes to an audition,” said Melonie Carideo, who will teach the course. “We’ll talk about the different types of auditions, and before the students finish, they’ll leave with a monologue or two that fits their type.”


No stranger to the stage, Carideo is a graduate of the theater program at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and worked in theater for 9 years before getting a “real job.” Currently, she is managing broker for Crye-Leike Realty in Athens and will be directing her second play for the Athens Community Theater later this season.


Growing and nurturing talent for the community theater is what AACA’s Executive Director Ellen Kimball hopes will be the “Get Out” program’s result.


“One thing we hear is people are nervous about auditioning. Unless you had a teacher’s encouragement or went through a drama program in school, you wouldn’t likely have instruction along these lines,” said Kimball. “‘Get Out of the Audience and Onto the Stage’ is all part of a program that we designed to encourage people to become actors in our theater.”


“Get Out of the Audience and Onto the Stage” runs for four Tuesday and Thursday sessions on July 7, 9, 14 and 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. each night. The cost for the program is $55 per person.


Only days after this program, Carideo and the Arts Center will hold auditions for the season’s first play, “The Miracle Worker,” the famous drama based on the autobiography of Helen Keller, who as a deaf and blind child was taught sign language by Anne Sullivan.


Carideo, who will direct the play, said parts for children will be plentiful.


“We really encourage children to audition for the play. We really want to cast a child in the role of Helen, and while Helen has no lines, it’s a tough part because it has a lot of choreography,” said Carideo. “This might be an opportunity for a child who has a good memory and even a dance background. The whole play will be sort of like a dance. For most of the play, she’s fighting her way through the darkness.


“We’re also looking for African American children and females to audition, as for this play, it’s really important to have that support,” Carideo added.


Auditions will be held for “The Miracle Worker” on Sunday, July 19 at 4 p.m. and again on Monday, July 20 at 6 p.m.


For more information on programs offered at the Athens Arts Center, or to sign up, call 745-8781.