Seizing the Summer with Young Conservatory Classes

By Elspeth Sweatman 

Every summer, families pack their bags and head on vacation. For some, it's a chance to unwind and relax. For others—like fifth-grader Marcella Motilla from Los Angeles—it is an opportunity to further her acting training with A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory.

2017 YC Summer student Marcella Motilla. Photo by Veronica Motilla.
For two weeks, Motilla and her mother Veronica moved to the Bay Area while Marcella took the YC’s Junior Acting class, where she worked on storytelling, immersing herself in a character, and building confidence. “It was hard to be away from home the first day,” says Veronica. “But when I picked up Marcella and saw how excited she was and how much she enjoyed it, it was worth it.”

Under the tutelage of M.F.A. Program actor Charlie O’Rourke and teaching artist Naomi Sanchez, Marcella furthered her acting through scene work and excerpts from Newsies The Musical, a musical about the New York City newsboys strike in 1899. At the final performance, she played the great she-bear in “Bearskin” and sang the opening solo in the song “Seize the Day” from Newsies.

“I feel I am better at transmitting emotions and am more confident onstage,” says Marcella, who already has one eye on the 2018 classes. “I really enjoyed my two weeks here and if my parents would send me back next summer, I would gladly return!”

For more information about A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory, click here. The next YC production is Homefront, running August 8–19 at The Strand Theater, 1127 Market St. Click here to purchase tickets through our website.

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