East Longmeadow Recreation Department Enables Children to Become ‘Creative’ in the Performing Arts


EAST LONGMEADOW – Deputy Director of Recreation, Kristine Foster, was looking for a different program to offer to young people in the city.

“We have some great athletic programs,” Foster said, but the recreation department was interested in offering more programs that are unrelated to sport. The administrative assistant of the foster families and recreation department, Jessica Stacy, thought about and decided on the theater.

Foster and Stacy worked with St. Michael’s Players Producer and Associate Director Rose Stella to develop an Introductory Theater program. The program, “Kreative Kids: Intro to Theater Arts”, is open to children in East Longmeadow from grades 3 to 8.

Two teachers from local elementary schools will lead the eight weeks, which will meet twice a week at the First Congregational Church through Rotary. There are less than 20 people registered so far, but the program has room for 30.

“Our goal is to run it on a seasonal basis,” Foster said. She said the department wanted to be able to present a performance for each season.

Kreative Kids won’t just take action. Participants will also have the chance to explore the staging, costumes and technology of the stage. The recreation department’s brochure stated that the children would work on “role-playing, improvisation, vocal techniques, dancing, character understanding and expression through voice and movement.”

For those who are not interested in theater, the Recreation Department offers other non-sports programs for young people. These include a summer camp, water sports, STEAM programs, and sensory programs for young children. Recreation department director Donna Prather said the department recently hosted a sports broadcasting and filmmaking course with East Longmeadow Community Access TV director Don Maki. Later this year there will be a Valentine’s Day “Special Dance for Someone”, an Egg Hunt and an Earth Day cleanup.

A full schedule of programs is available at https://eastlongmeadowma.myrec.com.


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