OSWEGO - With their last day of the summer semester of the Theater Arts Youth Academy (TAYA) facing them, the class traveled to the State University College at Oswego to spend Saturday, Aug. 31 with Ola Kraszpulska, Theater Department Chair, and a group of her theater interns in the Waterman Theater Complex in Tyler Hall.
After a warm greeting from Professor Kraszpulska, the group entered Tyler Hall and into the Waterman Theater. As the group walked down the steps into the cavern of the stage, they were met by three familiar friends. Amanda Estrella, Sydnei Williams and Jacob Southworth, student interns who were on stage ready to take the group through the paces of working the stage curtain ropes. While the four story high pulley system was a bit daunting on first inspection, Ola and her students had the entire group flying curtains in and out, lowering scrim screens and manipulating the host of other ropes to great delight by the students.
As they group traveled to the scenic workshop, little did they know they we would be handling power tools, hammers, saws and the like in order to construct an actual set piece from scrap wood. The care and respect that was shown by these young theater learners was a positive sign of how serious they are approaching these new learning experiences. Ola’s interns were able to give great feedback to each of the TAYA kids as they worked totally focused on the task they were given.
While y’all were playing out in the glorious sunlight on this Saturday morning, the TAYA class was making some special light of our own. Working in the “black box” room, the students learned about lighting design, color representation and spot op techniques. This unique experience allowed each individual student to tap into their creativity with color and light on a professional level.
The day was capped off with a fun visit to the costume room. After getting to pick and choose various costume elements, each student got to do a quick change costume runway walk to show off their creation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Big thanks goes out to Ola and her support staff for a phenomenal day at college. Matt Fleming, Artistic Director for the Theater Arts Youth Academy wants to acknowledge, once again, that this very special visit was made possible by the generous support of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, the Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, the Oswego County Community Foundation, and CNY Arts.