Fabrefaction Theatre Company Opens its Curtains to Youth
Recently established theatre company announces a Saturday series acting workshop for children
Fabrefaction Theatre Company, which came to Midtown in 2007, is launching a new program: the Saturday series workshop for kids.
The January series, "Intro to Acting," will take place Saturday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 29, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Theatre artistic director, Christina Hoff, will teach children in grades first through sixth about theatre as a means of telling a story and about the basic elements used to produce a play. The cost is $40 per session or $75 for both sessions.
Fabrefaction Theatre offers opportunities for both adults and children to take classes in the conservatory program and audition to perform in plays. Children's classes are broken into quarter semesters, covering topics such as movement, script analysis, singing, American theatre and college auditioning. Many students return multiple semesters. But Tatiana Godfrey, education coordinator, hopes that a "whole new crop of people" will attend the new Saturday series.
Hoff said she is most excited about showing the kids that acting is more than just reciting lines. She said the goal is to show students and their parents that acting takes constant training. Because children are often committed to multiple after-school activities at once, the theatre offers these special Saturday programs, held only two days each month.
Hoff holds her students to a high standard.
"Kids are always so good at things we expect professionals to do ... they are actors, not children," she said.
Hoff says it is easy for children to learn because they have fun doing the training and can quickly harness their imaginations. The hardest thing to teach children about acting, according to Hoff, is how to integrate what they learn into their performances on stage. One other difficulty is the lack of male students, not uncommon in the larger theatre world.
"This is such a big football town," Hoff said.
Hoff said the theatre trains students to be not only actors, but also good citizens and community leaders. She enjoys seeing the students become more confident throughout each semester.
"We show them it is possible to do anything they want," Hoff said.
One student, Emily Dixon, had never set foot on a stage before coming to Fabrefaction, according to Hoff. She soon desired to pursue a career in theatre, and after 43 hours of personal training from Hoff, was awarded a full scholarship to attend Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. But Dixon didn't want to miss Fabrefaction's first full year in production, so she delayed her attendance to NYU for one year and now serves as the theatre's artistic associate.
Acting in Atlanta
Fabrefaction's mission is to make the theatre community in Atlanta more accessible to new and aspiring actors.
Fabrefaction began in 2007 as a group of aspiring actors and college students called Summer Stage Theatre Company, who performed plays during summer semesters. Their theatre was a semi-restored warehouse on Bowen Street, which the theatre now uses for storage.
Patrons and returning students have enabled Fabrefaction to develop into a non-profit organization. Advertising is minimal, staff said.
"We are very grassroots," said Amelia Smith-Fazio, a spokeswoman for the theatre. Student numbers continue to increase as children return each year and friends and families recommend the theatre to others.
"I've never seen that kind of loyal following," Smith-Fazio said.
The theatre staff plans to keep growing the company by expanding the conservatory program, beginning a writer's collective to create original scripts, receiving grants and even showcasing Off-Broadway plays. But currently, Smith-Fazio said the plan is to focus on developing the theatre's individuality and reaching out to other artists in the Midtown community.