Designed for students with acting experience in middle school and above. This class will nurture creativity, develop vocal and physical skills, and enhance an actor’s ability to work as part of an ensemble. Advanced Acting is designed to prepare students for acting complex roles in drama. Students will explore all elements of acting from text analysis, dramatic character development, blocking, connecting with other actors, and the importance of socially-aware plays. This class will culminate in a performance of And A Child Chall Lead by Michael Slade, a thought-provoking tale of the trials and tribulations that a group of students faced during the Holocaust. This theatrical production includes real written pieces from students in the concentration camps, deeply emotional characters, and a storyline still relevant in today’s society.
We are looking for a diverse group of students in middle and high school willing to tackle challenging roles. Students interested in auditioning should record a video monologue and upload to an unregistered link on a video hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo. If you happen to play an instrument, please also include a clip of yourself playing. Scholarships are available. Please respond to your confirmation email to request more information.
Video submissions are due February 22nd. Callbacks will be held by invitation February 28th. Parent Meeting will be held after casting is complete at the beginning of rehearsal on March 7th.
Class Dates & Times: Thursdays & Saturdays, 6-8 pm – March 7 – April 20
Dress Rehearsals: April 21-25, 5:30-8:30 pm
Performances: April 26-28
The character list provides a look into the character’s personality. Please note the ages do not reflect who will be cast in the role. The person most fit for the role regardless of age will be cast.
Jana – 6 years old and always carries her doll. She doesn’t know this is not a normal childhood. Her innocence remains constant throughout the story.
Alena – 11 years old, she has a very dark side. Her confinement in the camp has left her bitter about the world.
Gabriela – 12 years old, plays the violin and love music. She has a strong connection to Pavel who loves music as much as she does.
Eva – 14 years old, Jana’s sister. She has been forced to become a mother to Jana. She often wishes she could stop being an adult and resume her own childhood. She has a strong connecting with Miroslav.
Erik – 8 years old. Idolizes Miroslav. Faces danger with a brave face.
Martin – 10 years old, the new kid. He comes from a wealthy family. He doesn’t know how to fit in with the other children who have been in the camp for much longer. His character is still sympathetic to the audience.
Pavel – 14 years old, play the recorder, loves music. He is reluctant to stand up in the face of danger. He has a strong connection to Gabriela.
Miroslav – 15 years old, charismatic, a natural leader and budding socialist. He challenges the rules of the camp. He has a strong connection with Eva.
Ensemble – Other children surviving in the camp.
Record one of the monologues found below. Please include your name and age in the slate at the beginning of the monologue. If you play an instrument or dance, please include that in the video as well. Upload your audition video as an unregistered link on a video hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo and include the link in the form submission at the bottom of this page.
ALENA. The last butterfly, the very last, so richly, brightly, dazzlingly, yellow. Such a yellow as if the sun dripped tears upon a white, white stone. The last butterfly, the very last, was carried lightly way up high. It went away, I’m sure, because it wished to kiss the world goodbye. For seven weeks I’ve lived here, penned up inside this ghetto. The dandelions call to me, and the white chestnut tree flowers in the court. But I never saw another butterfly. That one was the last. Butterflies don’t live here. In the ghetto.
MARTIN. You don’t understand. I want to speak to someone in charge. I’m Martin Lowy. I didn’t do anything wrong. They came to our house. They chased away the servants. They made us get in a line. I got separated from my parents. I tried to tell them, but no one would listen. I was pushed into a boxcar with all these people I didn’t even know. They closed the doors. The train started moving, and when it stopped, we were here. It’s a mistake. I’m Martin Lowy. My father is Vaclav Lowy. My mother is Etela. I have a little brother, Josef. I live at 317 Maisel Street in Prague.
MIROSLAV. They don’t need reasons! Mrs. Kafkova isn’t dead because of the school. The school was what kept her going. And we’re going to continue it! (someone asks how) I’ve got her books. We can teach each other. The school will continue. In her memory. We’ll meet in the barracks from now on. It’ll draw less attention… We’ll be careful. Someone will always be watching. Later, we’ll go through the books and see who can teach what. Today, I’ll start with a history lesson.
GABRIELA. Dear diary, this morning I stood looking out at the countryside through the fortress walls. The blue of the river, the red, yellow and purple of the spring wildflowers and butterflies. The green mountains and small houses far in the distance. But closer I saw a group of adult prisoners being marched away from the barracks. I don’t know where, perhaps they don’t know either. Some of the prisoners were crying. They were all so thin and grey. Will I look like that soon, too? Later I heard gunshots in the distance. Maybe the guards were shooting rabbits.
JANA. I heard a man and woman talking about the trains to Poland. They said they take you to bigger camps where they kill thousands of people at a time. with gas. Don’t cry Anna (her doll). I’ll protect you. I won’t let them kill you.
ERIK. Why didn’t you get our newspaper to the Red Cross?! Why didn’t you even try?! If you’d given the copies to me like I asked, I would’ve run straight at them, screaming, “Read this!” I would have jumped off that damned carousel, waving the newspaper at them. At Least I would have died doing something. You were too scared to even try.
EVA. I was once a little child, three years ago. That child who longed for other worlds. But now I am no longer a child, for I have learned to hate. I am a grown-up person now, I have known fear. But anyway, I still believe I only sleep today, that I’ll wake up, a child again, and start to laugh and play. Somewhere far away out there, childhood sweetly sleeps. Along the path among the trees, there… by that house which was once my pride and joy. there my mother gave me birth into this world… so I could weep.
PAVEL. I wanted someone to know I was here. I wanted someone to know I existed. I wanted someone to know about me and Gabriela. And about our music… Not much is said as afternoon turns to evening and evening turns to night. And yet, there is a strange sense of solidarity. Tonight there is only candlelight. And as we sit in the barracks, the shadows on the walls seem fantastic. Nobody feels like sleeping… I am afraid of Poland. I see my mother’s worried eyes searching for me. Over and over I watch Miroslav carrying Alena to the trains. What’s tomorrow going to be like?
Alanna Kiewe is a theatre enthusiast who has been directing shows since high school. She is currently earning her Master’s in Theater Education and works in Montgomery County Public Schools. Some of her favorite past productions includePeter PanOnce Upon a Teen
, andA Midsummer Night’s Dream
Alanna grew up in New Jersey and started her teaching career in Alaska. She moved to Maryland in 2017 and has been teaching Theatre and English since. Alanna also teaches Beginning Acting Classes at DLC. This production has specified significance to Alanna whose grandmother survived the Holocaust as a German Jew.
Alanna cannot wait to meet the talented and passionate youth interested in working on this challenge and exciting production.
“I can’t say enough how blown away I was by the incredible talent. It’s been a great experience for my daughter. Thank you! She will miss the cast for sure!”
– Margaret O.
“Even though my daughter was one of the youngest she said she always felt included by the older kids who looked out for them. This was a hugely ambitious project and it ended up being amazing! Thank you for taking this on and making such a caring environment for all the kids! This is why I love theatre, and now my daughter does too!”
– Alexia C.
“This was an awesome experience!! The older kids were great with my daughter who was one of the youngest in the cast. I truly appreciate the supportive and enriching environment that DLC created for this show.”
– Beth H.
“Not only was the show impressive, the experience was wonderful. My daughter and friends sobbed after the last performance. They’ve never been as close as a cast and they are already committed to return next summer.”
– Andrea D.
“You can’t tell from this distance but many of the kids, even though they’d never met before, were crying as they took their final bows. In 4 short weeks, you created a family.”
– Andrea D.