New theater program set to begin at CCBC Dundalk
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:16

The Act One, Play Two theater program will begin this Saturday, Feb. 22, at CCBC Dundalk.
file photo by Roland Dorsey

Classes for kids, adults will begin on Feb. 22

by Nicole Rodman

    Years ago, Cathy Steffen, adjunct theater professor at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), noticed that the school offered few theater opportunities for students on the Dundalk campus.
    Though acting classes were readily available on both the CCBC Essex and Catonsville campuses, Dundalk’s aspiring actors had to travel to other parts of the county to hone their craft.
    This will change beginning this Saturday, Feb. 22, as Steffen’s new theater program — Act One, Play Two — begins at CCBC Dundalk.
    Act One, Play Two will consist of two classes — one for children ages 6 to 12 and one for teens and adults.
    Classes will be held each Saturday from Feb. 22 through May 10 at the CCBC Dundalk campus.     
    The children’s class will meet from 10 a.m. to noon, while the teen/adult class  will meet from 1 to 3 p.m.
    Steffen said each class will be two hours long. The first hour will consist of acting lessons while the second hour will focus on rehearsing plays to be performed during the last class session.   
    While Steffen has not yet decided which plays the classes will work on, she did note that she will likely focus, at least initially, on one-act plays.
    During each class, students will learn basic acting skills such as how to audition, develop characters and take stage direction.
    For Steffen, one of her main goals for Act One, Play Two is to offer a role to anyone who wants a spot on the stage.
    “I try, in everything I do, to give everyone a chance,” Steffen explained.
    By focusing the classes on one-act plays rather than a larger-scale production, Steffen is hoping to offer larger roles to more students.
    According to Steffen, while theater may be dismissed by some as childish, learning to perform can benefit both children and adults in many different ways.
    “When you take that step out of your comfort zone, it helps you in so many different aspects of life,” she noted.
    Practically, learning to act can help boost confidence, be it at work or in a social setting.
    As Steffen noted, “Everything is performance — the way you present yourself, if you’re going in for a job interview....”
    In addition, Steffen added, acting can help both children and adults tap into their creative sides.
    “Creativity is an essential element to move forward and make new things,” she explained.
    For adults, Steffen noted, theater classes like Act One, Play Two can also serve as a “stress-reliever,” providing an escape from the serious, mundane pursuits of everyday life.
    Steffen is hoping that, by offering Act One, Play Two at CCBC Dundalk, she can bring theater to more people than ever before.
    Another way Steffen is bringing the performing arts to the Dundalk community is through her work with the A Brand New Day performing arts group.
    While A Brand New Day currently offers dance and acting classes at Dundalk American Legion Post 38, in March the group will move to a new location at 40 Dundalk Ave., room 103.
    New classes will begin on Thursday, March 13.
    For more information on A Brand New Day, call Jeanette Campbell at 443-804-4181 or Cathy Steffen at 410-282-0939 or visit www.facebook.com/groups/ABNDPAG or www.abrandnewday.info.
    As for Act One, Play Two, classes will begin on Feb. 22 at CCBC Dundalk.    
    Classes are offered for children or adults at a cost of $145 for a 12-week session.
    For more information, or to register for Act One, Play Two, call CCBC Continuing Education at 443-840-4700.