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Kids Act Student Achievements

The Kids Act Program would like to recognize these kids and the great stuff that they are doing!

Kids Act is designed to benefit every kid with increased self-confidence, experience working with others, and the joy of bringing the characters and stories they imagine to life. It is based on a core of professional acting exercises and games, plus a special character and story development process that encourages each child to shine. Some kids from my program will want to do more acting. Others will use the benefits of confidence, creativity, and teamwork in different activities. I want to congratulate these former and current Kids Act students for their continued achievements in acting and performing. We will be adding stories of students who use their Kids Act experience in other areas, too! -- Aleta Barthell


Kirra McColl

Check out this article about Kids Act participant Kirra McColl in a new North County Kids magazine (on the cover, and article on page 5).



Sam Pfoser

Check out Sam's great work in this entertaining commercial for BlueSnap Global Payment Service!



Abby DeSpain

Abby has been cast in WAIT UNTIL DARK at New Village Arts Theatre, and will be playing Anne in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK at North Coast Repertory Theatre.

From NVA: "Abby will be ten-years-old by the time WAIT UNTIL DARK opens, but she's no stranger to the stage. She fell in love with theatre after attending a production of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM when she was six. Shortly after, she auditioned for her first play, and the rest is history. Abby has shined her way into appearances in seventeen local productions in the last four years!

An aspiring writer, Abby was fortunate enough to have a play she wrote produced as a part of this summer's One Act Festival at North Coast Rep Theatre. She has also worked backstage on numerous productions and is very interested in costume and make-up design. She likes everything about theatre."

Here's what Abby says about Kids Act:
"I love Kids Act! I took my first class when I was in Kindergarten. What I remember most was pulling hats out of Aleta's big bag, and making up characters to go with them. I got to be "pasta" in our mini play, Strega Nona. It was a lot of fun! Kids Act was the first time I ever got to be on stage. I loved it then, and I love it now!"
see photo - Abby DeSpain center





Dani Starr

Kids Act, and Miss Aleta, helped Dani cultivate her love and passion for the Arts and understand the building blocks of performances and performance technique. Helping to write plays with Aleta, create sets and decide on costuming gave her a real sense of what goes into creating magic on stage. Now 10, going into 5th Grade Dani is reluctant to miss any performance opportunity and fills most of her non homework hours with performing.
In 2012, between January – June, Dani’s accomplishments included the following:

Role: Magic Carpet – Aladdin, Scripps Performing Arts

Role: Mary Poppins – Mary Poppins, Scripps Performing Arts

Role: Johnson – California Missions and More - 4th Grade Play, Del Mar Hills

Role: Tinkerbell – Peter Pan – School wide production, Del Mar Hills



Andrew Wallen

KIDS ACT has given Andrew (Wallen)... COURAGE.: Andrew was anxious about speaking in front of a crowd towards the end of second grade. Kids Act gave Andrew a safe space to practice being in front of a group with cheers instead of jeers. CREATIVITY.: Aleta gave Andrew an opportunity to choose his own stage props, create characters and paint the backdrops. It was hugely freeing for a boy who had grown comfortable following the lead of others.TEAMWORK.: Andrew learned to collaborate his ideas with the ideas of other children to create their own plays. He learned to voice an opinion and be heard without shouting or forcing his ideas upon others.



Patrick McCaffery

Patrick landed a lead role playing opposite Matthew Modine in the feature film Little Fish, Strange Pond!





Ian Laughbaum

Ian has recently performed 3 plays with Premiere for Kids:

Alice in Wonderland as The White Rabbit

Snow White as the Prince

Monsters, Inc. as Mike Wazowski

Ian will start rehearsals in the fall for Jungle Book, and anticipates a full schedule going forward!



Lani Sammak and Nousha Flore

Lani and Nousha performed in the The Lion King, Special Edition, through Ice Town at UTC.

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