Roanoke, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Theatre has encouraged creativity and self-expression through the theatre arts for a half a century. While 2020 has given the theatre’s team a lot to deliberate, the Mill Mountain Theatre will move forward with Fall Conservatory classes.
The classes will vary from in-person, virtual, to pre-recorded lessons. The theatre’s management acknowledges the concerns related to Coronvirus and are offering programs that can be tailored to the individual needs of students. Extra precautions and safety measures will be put in place to ensure safety.
Education Associate, Victoria Buck says students have expressed feeling stunted from connecting in all the ways they normally would during this pandemic.
“We’ve had so many kids just say, ‘I feel so alone, I can’t see my friends, I can’t do what I love, everything is canceled… I feel like my life is basically ending.’ Not to be melodramatic, and our kids aren’t, but for them and for a lot of us, it feels like that.”Victoria Buck, Mill Mountain Theatre Education Associate
Buck says students need connection more than ever.
“They need each other, they need us, they need these classes… so I hope that our ability to do these fall classes this semester and this way will give them that, give them what they need to feel like they actually are still living even though their whole lives have changed.”Victoria Buck, Mill Mountain Theatre Education Associate
Ellen Frary has been a Mill Mountain Theatre student for three years. She is approaching her senior year, an abnormal senior year, and is thrilled that she can continue her educational pursuits in the theatre arts.
“It is really nice to have that normalcy of having my extracurriculars still going on, because those are what mean the world to me. I definitely struggle in school and so when it comes to art, that means a lot to me to be able to step back from what I need to do and do what I love to do. It’s so nice that they are doing this for us. I can’t imagine going through life without them.”Ellen Frary, theatre arts performer, Mill Mountain Theatre student
Frary says she can’t wait to get back to doing what she loves with the people she loves.
Mill Mountain Theatre’s Fall Conservatory classes are available for essentially all age groups, pre-k to adults. New programming for the 2020 Fall Conservatory classes can be viewed here.