Update: As of Oct. 6, this group will meet at the new time of 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
I’ll never forget the first talent show my daughter performed in. She was maybe 11 years old when she stood on stage at epilepsy summer camp and recited a song she had learned in preschool, complete with finger movements, about a caterpillar who turned into a butterfly. To finish up her act, she turned a cartwheel.
The crowd went wild.
The crowd went wild for each act, and the performers beamed their pride and delight, as if they all were caterpillars turned to butterflies.
Ever since that talent show, I’ve been a fan of stage work for children with special needs. Now a program in Northern Kentucky brings the pride and delight of the performing arts to teens of all abilities. The program is called Dramakinetics – a word that names a method as well as an organization.
Dramakinetics, the method, uses movement, music and drama to encourage participants to express themselves creatively. While doing so, participants build confidence and friendships and learn new skills and information. Educator and religious sister Jannita Complo created Dramakinetics in 1974 for her doctoral dissertation at Wayne State University in Michigan. The program guides teachers in using the arts to teach academics and help students express themselves.
Dramakinetics, the organization, operates out of Cincinnati, offering performing arts activities to help children, teens and adults of all abilities reach their creative potential. The instructors work with schools and organizations and also offer instruction for home school students. Founder Pam Shooner, an educator and local performer, incorporated the non-profit organization in 2007.
In this video, Shooner talks about the program. “You can learn anything through Dramakinetics,” she says. “That’s why I believe in it.”
Earlier this year, Dramakinetics made its way across the Ohio River to offer a teen group called Creative Chaos. Instructors guided participants to create community productions infused with their particular interests. For instance, one session produced a play that included a queen, princesses, One Direction music and a villain. (Full disclosure: My daughter was in it, and it was brilliant!)
Dramakinetics hopes to grow in Northern Kentucky. Here’s a bit from the website: “This class will not only introduce the students to the various aspects of theater but also encourage them to have confidence in their creative ability and the courage to be themselves. We are very excited to see what this group will put together!”
The next session starts Thursday. Here are the basics:
Place: Stage One at First Church of Christ, 6080 Camp Ernst Rd., Burlington, KY 41005
Time: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Duration: The ten-week session runs from Sept. 8 through Nov. 17.
Cost: $17 per class, $170 for the session. A $10-discount applies if the cost for the session is paid in full by the first class.
Register: Visit the Creative Chaos web page.
Contact: For more information, call Dramakinetics at 513-389-1721 or visit its website.