07/20/2011 – Dressed in clam costumes, and holding fish props, members of Micah House helped transform the Burrage Mansion into an under the sea paradise as they performed scenes inspired by “The Little Mermaid.”
“I learned how to dance, and how to act (like) a shell,” explained Naydelin Gomez, 8, of Redlands.
As part of the Redlands Community Music Association’s (RCMA) summer children’s workshops, Micah House and the Stars of Tomorrow childrens theater group participated in a fast-paced musical theater workshop Wednesday afternoon at the mansion.
“Marsha Gebara (RCMA Program Director) has coordinated and put it all together,” said Dianna Lawson, Micah House Chapel Street program coordinator. “Her excitement causes me to be excited.”
Teenage members of Trinity Church buddied up with the Micah House youth, as a way to guide the children, and make them more comfortable in learning about theater.
“I thought helping at Micah House would be a really cool thing to get to do,” said Eliana Finley, 14, of Redlands. “(These) kids don’t have the best family life at home, so Micah House is a positive place to be.”
In brief vignettes, the children each had a turn in the spotlight, reciting lines and singing and dancing.
“Some kids have never been to a performance,” said Stars of Tomorrow director Didi Pelev. “Theater is kind of expensive these days, so this is an introduction to live theater.”
The Micah House group will return to the mansion the next three weeks to continue the RCMA workshops. The workshops help the youth get out of their homes, to take advantage of the beautiful open spaces the mansion has to offer.
“RCMA wants to be there to help (children),” said Gebara, who mentioned that the association can help fund music programs for public school children, too. “We want to be there to make a difference in a child’s life.”
After the workshop, the children got to play soccer and volleyball on the grounds, and enjoy snowcones.
“They get to run and play in a safe, secure environment once a week,” said Lawson. “It’s like our kids’ summer vacation. It allows them to have an experience they wouldn’t normally have.”
Email Staff Writer Molly Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org