By Rachel Werner | Photo credit Courtesy Becky Jenn
No artist plays “second fiddle” within First Act Theatre. Founder Susan Nanning-Sorenson’s intent behind starting the organization was firmly rooted in a desire to provide a comprehensive view for children of the theatrical arts. “I wanted to share the process of theater. Being involved in what goes on behind the scenes—direction, costuming, set design—can help kids build confidence just as much as performing on stage,” she insists.
Faculty member Kenzie Merucci affirms Nanning-Sorenson’s sentiments. “I have been with First Act Children’s Theatre since 2006 (starting as a camper) then moving through the stages of apprenticeship, internship and now transitioning into staff member,” she states. “I have seen First Act change over the 12 years I have been there while also noting some changes in myself. I have grown into a great performer and leader with the help of Susan and the other staff.”
The entire First Act crew is gearing up for a packed autumn and education schedule thanks to after-school prep courses starting this month for kids in grades 1-8 for productions of “the Golden Goose” and “Pinocchio,” which will take place in November. And parents appreciate the magic of the experience as much as the participants.
“First Act has been life changing. My daughter was extremely shy as a young child but wanted to try theater so we signed her up,” shares Michelle Moreau. “Susan has created a program that is very low pressure and introduces theater in a fun, comfortable way. My daughter has grown so much and has loved every single play she’s done.”