Act 1 Theatre Workshop Group Photo - Finale Pose Front (l to r) Alician Socia, Sophia Aiken, Evvi Tower-Pierce, Ben Gonyaw, Josie Pearson, Dayna Alexandre, Annika Socia Back (l to r) Thomas Alexandre, Brandan Alexandre, Grace Castle, Hannah Poginy, Kaeleb Bertiuame, Marianna Barrett, Emily Wilkie, Aaron Nichols

Academy for Children in Theatre debuts in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — A local theater workshop for young people was recently showcased in Newport. This new and timely venture that has emerged at the MAC Center for the Arts, is called the Academy for Children in Theatre.


Conceptualized and created by Lynn Leimer and Sunny Naughton, a pair that began working together over 20 years ago, the project aims to bring their knowledge to area theater lovers, both young and old alike.

Participants recently completed the ACT 1 Workshop, and ranged in ages from 8-13, hailing from Derby, Newport, Barton, Westmore and even downtown Manhattan.

The ensemble spent eight hours learning the business of Broadway, choreography, staging, vocalization and high-speed musical training.

“Knowledge is power and we intend to fill each student with an arsenal of theatrical savvy, on stage and behind the scenes,” said Leimer.

Organizers say the workshop will not only enhance the cultural tone of the community, but sustain the mission of the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative and their commitment to all facets of the arts.

Leimer is a founding and charter member of MAC and sits on the Board of Directors as Secretary, and is the Chair of the Performance Committee.

Naughton is a MAC member/writer/performer and sits on the Performance Committee.

Before the end of 2016, Leimer and Naughton will announce the spring workshop schedule with upcoming programs.

“They say to be the person you needed when you were a kid,” said Naughton. “I had exposure to a lot of wonderful artists here in the Kingdom so I didn’t need much. However, after working in theater across the country, what I do believe our theater lovers can benefit from is a place to come together, outside of rehearsal for our wonderful community theaters and high school productions, to hone their craft.”

Naughton and Leimer say they want a space where all students who want to put in the time and effort can learn to appreciate not only the stage, but all aspects of putting on a show.

They plan to produce workshops for musicians, wardrobe, hair and make-up, scenic design and more.

The pair believes that in the past fifteen years more students have gone into paying jobs in the arts than the larger community realizes.

For more information about upcoming workshops keep an eye on the MAC Center website or email or

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