By Lisa Capobianco
Children in third grade through age 12 will have a chance to show off their dramatic side in January with the Southington Library’s Theater Games, an annual program that helps youngsters develop their acting skills.
The program will take place Monday, Jan. 6 and Monday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. Cindy Wall, the head of the Children’s Department who helps lead the program, said the theater games serve as a stepping stone to further not only their acting skills but also their reading and vocabulary skills. From playing pantomime to memorization games to storytelling out loud, Wall said children who participate in the program gain a sense of confidence through theater.
“Theater gives children a sense of self-esteem and accomplishment,” Wall said.
Wall added that children who sign up for Theater Games often end up auditioning for the library’s annual play, which brings out a crowd in the café area of the library every year. Between Cinderella and Charlotte’s Web, the library has performed a variety of different stories. The auditions for next year’s play will take place on Monday, Jan. 27.
Wall said many children who end up performing in the play continue to participate in theater locally.
“We have a lot of children who have gone into summer theater,” said Wall, who added that around 15 children participated in the play last year. “One of our leads even became Miss Southington.”
Librarian Lynn Pawloski said she feels impressed with the children’s performances every year. Since the productions began at the library, Pawloski helps the performers behind the scenes, helping the children with their costume changes and ensuring that they all make their appearances at the right time. Pawloski said she feels excitement for the children as she sees the looks on their faces right before they appear on stage.
“I go through all of the same emotions as they go through,” said Pawloski, who works in the Children’s Department. “I pick up on all of their energy—I feel like I am a part of it.”