For the past nine summers, young actors and actresses ages 13-18 have come together for one month to participate in the Duluth Playhouse Teen Summer Intensive. Here students learn all aspects of theatrical production by acting in and producing two plays, which are performed at the end of the program. This year, they are putting on Bob Fosse’s Chicago and William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
“Every weekday from 9 to 4 for a month we are rehearsing and doing all the technical aspects,” said Noah Cornwell, 18, who plays Billy Flynn in Chicago. “We produce our own shows, essentially, from the ground up.”
A typical day at Summer Intensive consists of far more than reading lines. Along with being professionally coached in music, acting and dance, students learn the ropes of working backstage. Since the program is divided into two casts, one for Chicago and one for Twelfth Night, the cast of each show is in charge of the technical work for the other show. This includes everything from running their own box office and designing playbills to controlling sound and lights.
“Every year you learn something new because along with being an actor you learn the technical side of the show. This year I’m stage managing Chicago,” said Kelley Schroeder, who plays Maria in Twelfth Night. “Because of this program I’m now going into stage management for my degree; without it, I never would have found my calling.”
Twelfth Night, which premiered the first of the two shows on Aug. 11, is a comedy that was published in Shakespeare’s First Folio in 1623. The show is directed by Kate Horvath, education director of the Duluth Playhouse. Horvath says that they chose the play in celebration of the First Folio Tour, which is coming to Duluth in October. For a more modern twist on the play, the program added music by The Beatles as well as some dance numbers.
GET TICKETS TO THE FINAL WEEKEND!
What: Chicago and Twelfth Night
When: Twelfth Night on August 18 & 20, Chicago on August 19 & 21
Time: Thursday-Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Tickets: Adults – $17, Youth/Students – $14
Ticket Deal: BOGO! Buy tickes to one show, receive tickets to the other for half-off the regular ticket price. BOGO deal not available online. Must redeem over the phone or in-person.
Purchase: Online (click Chicago or Twelfth Night) or call 218.733.7555