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'Space School Musical' brings science, dance and theater together for kids

The Dakota Players, an outreach of the Black Hills Playhouse, will come to Worthington and lead participating kids through an entire theater program in just one week.

Jupiter stock photo by Planet Volumes on Unsplash.
Jupiter stock photo by Planet Volumes on Unsplash.
Jupiter stock photo by Planet Volumes on Unsplash.
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WORTHINGTON — The final frontier is coming to Worthington, and kids in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to be a part of “Space School Musical” and the Dakota Players Children’s Theatre Camp from Aug. 15-19.

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The concept is simple. The Dakota Players, an outreach of the Black Hills Playhouse, will come to Worthington and lead participating kids through an entire theater program in just one week, from 8 a.m. to noon daily. Then, the students perform for a live audience at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center.

“You need not have any experience to participate,” said Tammy Makram, manager at Memorial Auditorium. “We welcome everyone.”

The experience starts with an audition at 8 a.m. Aug. 15.

“Everyone will get a part or a chance to be behind the scenes,” Makram added.

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The Dakota Players have been in Worthington before, and often, children who participate in the shows keep coming back, year after year. And, they are frequently followed by their younger siblings when they age out, she said. Many continue to participate in theater later on in life, in high school plays and musicals or community theater productions

Space School Musical
Dakota Players logo for the Space School Musical
Dakota Players logo for the Space School Musical

“It’s a really great confidence-building experience for the kids and a chance to have fun and be creative,” Makram said, recalling the times she’s seen shy young people blossom into performing powerhouses by the end of the week.

Theater can also be an opportunity for the youngest students to learn to focus and concentrate on their current tasks, and follow directions as part of a team. And all the participants learn the hip-hop dances, too.

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Even the subject matter of the play is educational. “Space School Musical” tells the story of Hannah, a student trying to finish her model of the solar system the night before it’s due at school. The play was originally created by Kellee McQuinn of KidTribe for NASA’s Discovery and New Frontiers programs and adapted by the Dakota Players.

“It develops a sense of confidence and personal growth. They learn they can do things they didn’t know they were capable of doing and it gives them the courage to try new things and believe in themselves,” Makram said.

Participating in the camp costs $25, and tickets for the Friday evening performance are $10 each for adults and free for kids. Scholarships for the camp are available upon request through Worthington District 518 Community Education.

The residency is made possible by the Friends of the Auditorium and Worthington District 518 Community Education.

For more information, call Community Education at (507) 376-6105. Visit isd518.net/community/community-education/ to register.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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