Local children and teens hungry to build their acting chops are invited to take part in a series of acting workshops this summer with Mouth of the Wolf Productions.

Local children and teens hungry to build their acting chops are invited to take part in a series of acting workshops this summer with Mouth of the Wolf Productions.

The aim of the workshops is to take young children who may have an interest in acting and performing, and helping them get over stage fright and shyness, according to Mouth of the Wolf executive director Tina Gleeson.

"Usually there's not that much acting opportunities for kids at a young age, and this will be preparing them for taking part in high school, in addition to working on their verbal and communication skills," Gleeson said. "I've seen so many kids improve a lot of our students are really shy, and it's a lot easier to face that fear of public speaking when you have the words on a script in front of you."

Gleeson said the production company typically offers two classes, one for ages four through eight, the other for children ages nine and up. During the eight-week classes, children are provided an original script based on classical books. The students ultimately perform their productions on stage for family and friends, growing their confidence and self-esteem, Gleeson said.

"With our winter class, the students are learning stage illusion, and stage combat, and working on different lighting terms," she said. "This past spring term was on Greek theater, so the students learned the beginnings of acting and how to make their own Greek masks. Each quarterly eight-week class has a different theatrical theme, and the students learn a different element of performance."

Gleason herself began acting at the age of eight, when her Italian mother gave her the inspiration for the production group's name. Before each performance her mother would say to her "In bocca al lupo," which roughly translates to "into the mouth of a wolf," an idiomatic expression similar to "break a leg."

"We started out with some classes at the Houston House, but with the renovations going on, we thought it would be more appropriate to seek out another space," Gleeson said. "So we met with the county commissioners, and we're going to have some sessions at Vets."

Mouth of the Wolf will begin this summer's performances and workshops on July 29 and Aug. 12 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 266 W. Sixth St., Marysville. The performances both take place from 6-8 p.m.; admittance is by donation.

Fall classes will be offered starting Aug. 31 through Oct. 18, with two, one-hour classes for ages 4-8 and 9-16. Gleason said the classes will run for eight weeks. The fall class will focus on physical comedy, with each class working on movement, comedic timing and style to create effective physical entertainment toward the production of a silent film.

Cost for the eight-week course is $100 per student, with a $15 sibling discount, and early registration tuition of $85.

More information on the classes can be found at www.mouthof thewolfproductions.com.