Smokestack Theater holds festival

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Melissa Broyles, front left, choreographs an upbeat dance to 'Jailhouse Rock.' (T-G Photo by Jaime Welsh)

The Smokestack Theater group of Community High School held its 7th annual Theater Festival Saturday.

This year, students from Cascade School and Forrest School came out to participate in the festivities.

Those who attended experienced a day of theater related workshops as well as musical acts and dramatic skits put on by several Community High students.

Chrissy Fox, standing, teaches students about the importance of stage preparation and memorization in a workshop exercise. (T-G Photo by Jaime Welsh)

Community on stage

Meaghan Therrien, Jordan Powell and Patrick Kelly kicked off the festival with their own rock version of Rhianna's hit song "Umbrella." Davis then took the time to welcome all who attended and encouraged them to introduce themselves to students from different schools.

"It gives us a chance to meet other people who love the same thing we do -- theater," said Davis.

Students were divided into groups and participated in four different workshops taught by "some of the best young theater minds in the Middle Tennessee area," according to Davis.

Visitors show talents

Melissa Broyles, of Eagleville, brought her expertise to the stage when she taught a Musical Theater Dance workshop for the students. Broyles choreographed an upbeat dance to "Jailhouse Rock," made famous by Elvis Presley. She had studied dance in college and has directed shows at Eagleville High as well as choreographed several musicals for Community High.

Forrest School's Mickey Smith brought his love of radio drama to the festival. The Radio Drama workshop consisted of using several mechanical devices to create sound effects for a radio play.

A Middle Tennessee State University graduate, Smith has been a part of theater for several years.

Chrissy Fox, of Cascade High School, brought a workshop on the Stanislovsky Method of Character Development. Fox taught her students the importance of relaxing techniques and how to prepare oneself for a big show. Fox has performed at Murfreesboro Little Theater, where she won a Best Supporting Actress Award, and at Opryland Hotel.

How to audition

Community graduate Dalton Reeves returned to his old high school and taught a workshop on Auditioning Techniques. Reeves explained to his students how to catch a director's eye when auditioning for plays outside high school.

Reeves participated in several productions as a student at Community and continues to be involved win the world of theater today as a director and actor.

Extra entertainment

Between workshops, students performed scenes from "Steel Magnolias," "Butterflies Are Free," and "The Rainmaker."

Meaghan Therrien brought her own musical compositions to the stage; Jordan Powell and Patrick Kelly got the crowd to its feet with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," made famous by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.