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We were dancers. We were singers. We were storytellers. We were ship captains, sports heroes and astronauts. We were happy, we were sad, we were angry, we were elated. Most of all, we were inspired. GREAT Theatre acting and performance coach Heather Mastromarco took WACOSA clients and staff on an adventure of creative self-expression and exploration through a variety of improv acting activities. We used props to spin tales of romance and heartbreak, friendship and community, and puppets to explore character development and emotion. While we performed, we were also an audience of students. We learned about theater jobs and etiquette. We learned how to find our seat at a show and what it means when the lights are turned off and on (the show’s about to begin). Nearly all of the clients who participated said they would enjoy future theater activities, so keep an eye out for more.

 “I love seeing the students gain confidence as they discover their creative power through play. They are expressing their emotions and creating unique characters that come from their own imaginative mind.” Heather Mastromarco, Great Theatre

“I enjoyed learning how to act and learning how to use hand puppets. When we acted like we were mad, I drove my wheelchair away from the group. That was fun. What I gained is how to express myself in different situations.”  Sarah Deppa, participant

WACOSA was recently awarded a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board which allowed WACOSA and the GREAT Theatre to partner in offering the first of its kind “Introduction to Theater” classes to some of WACOSA’s folks. The introductory acting workshop encouraged and enabled participants to create their own unique characters and explore expressing themselves on stage.  Participants learned about theatre basics and etiquette as well as building stage presence. WACOSA is continually striving to build ties within the community and valuable resources such as GREAT Theatre while also finding ways to enhance client-driven curriculum.  Building a bridge to theatre for folks at WACOSA has long been a goal and this introductory workshop will open the door to more theatre opportunities. WACOSA has a passion to continuously find ways to diversify our programs as well as create access to the arts for all. We thank our partners at the GREAT Theatre for their enthusiastic collaboration with us as well as the Central Minnesota Arts Board for their continuous support in providing meaningful arts experiences.

Thank you to the Central Minnesota Arts Board – Investing in the arts throughout Benton, Sherburne, Stearns & Wright counties.