Youth Creating Quality Theater

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Thursday, October 4, 2012, 4:41 pm
Lisa Lees

All-of-us Express Children's Theatre begins its twenty-fourth season with the production of Little Women. Shows are at Hannah Community Center on November 2-3 & 9-10. More information:

All-of-us Express Children's Theatre (AECT) was founded in 1989 by Evelyn Weymouth at the request of a number of area parents and young people who wanted to form a group to do serious theater by and for young people. Since then the Theatre has been located in various places around Greater Lansing, and is currently operating in cooperation with the City of East Lansing's Department of Parks, Recreation and Arts. AECT remains an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a member-elected Board of Trustees.

AECT is one of very few organizations around the country producing mainstage shows with young people not only on stage but performing all crew duties. Adults serve as instructors and crew heads, but there is a guild system in which young people practice and prove their skills, eventually reaching the point where they can lead a crew or direct a production. Many of the current adults involved with AECT are alumni of the program, including artistic director Miranda Hartmann.

Although one does not have to perform on stage to participate in All-of-us Express productions, to be on stage one must also work on crews; no one is only on stage, or on stage for every production. Long-term participants in AECT have the opportunity to learn about all facets of the theater arts: directing, costuming, makeup, props, set construction, sound and lighting. There are also less-intensive experience crews such as ushering for those just beginning. The summer production is ages 6-18; other productions are ages 9-18.

Check out the Expressions online newsletter for the latest information.

It is the mission of AECT to offer young people of all backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles the opportunity to produce professional quality plays, study many aspects of the dramatic arts and develop valuable life skills while providing outstanding entertainment to the community. It is the policy of AECT to provide equal opportunities to all eligible persons without regard to age, color, creed, gender identity, disability, height, membership in any labor organization, national origin, parental status, political identification, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or weight.

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