Originally created 04/02/02

Behind the Curtain



They all share a stage, and on Monday they teamed up to share their experiences and passions with Richmond County pupils.

Volunteers from local arts organizations, including the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Ballet, shared their enthusiasm for the arts and the city's historic Imperial Theatre with 100 pupils from two Richmond County elementary schools.

"When you stand on the stage, you have to project your voice," Antonio Scales, a consultant for the schools' Arts Infusion Program, told the pupils. "The people that bought tickets in the balconies have to be able to hear you."

Pupils from Monte Sano and Southside elementary schools toured the historic theater, learning about its history, costumes, props and the technical work involved in putting on a production.

"This is really cool and exciting," said Quenterius Streetman, a fifth-grader at Monte Sano Elementary School, as he stood onstage. "I've never been in the spotlight before."

Schoolmate Shannon Mathis said she felt right at home onstage and under the lights.

Standing on the black stage, with the blue and pink lights illuminating her face, Shannon, who recently participated in her school's black history play, recited a verse from Maya Angelou's poem Phenomenal Woman.

Taylor Morgan, 10, got a chance to show off her vocal cords in a projection exercise.

"It was kind of hard," the Monte Sano pupil said. "I mean, it doesn't look that big, but when you stand up here, you have to have a big voice so others can hear you."

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552 or ashlee.griggs@augustachronicle.com.