Why We Have a Youth Theater Arts Program – Oswego County Today

Oswego players. Image by Paul McKinney.

OSWEGO – Four years ago, Oswego Players decided to expand their programming options to students looking to get into live theater production.

Player’s member Anne Raynor has provided a wonderfully popular one week summer workshop and production for players for many years and due to her popularity and impact it has been felt that a program of a year could be made available for more participants and more activities. Thus, the Oswego Players Theater Arts Youth Academy was established in 2018.

Since then, the stage has been busy with all sorts of weekend workshops, rehearsals and full-fledged plays like Bad Auditions by Bad Actors. A number of these youngsters have matured and moved onto the Oswego player scene, also for their regular season shows.

It’s no surprise that Kat Winchek and Caylyn Salmonsen have multiple pieces in TAYA’s latest production. Kat will be graduating at the end of this school year and moving on to her next adventure, while Caylyn is just beginning her high school journey. They are two wonderful actresses and they shared their thoughts so well:

Photo by Kat Winchek courtesy of Peter Mahan.

“My name is Kat Winchek. I am 17 years old and a Senior at Oswego Hight School. I have lived in Oswego, NY all my life. When I was younger I came to Oswego Players Theater and I thought I was going to be in one of those plays one day and here I am! I love acting I think it’s so much fun so when I got an email from Mr. Berlin saying he was holding auditions, I was like, I’m in. I never used to do things like that because I play three sports, soccer, hockey and lacrosse. It’s always hard to juggle soccer, homework and rehearsals, but the Oswego players were willing to work with me as I try to do all the rehearsals I can. This is going to be a really fun piece.

Photo by Caylyn Salmonsen courtesy of Peter Mahan.

“Hi! My name is Caylyn Salmonsen. I’m 13 years old and a freshman at Oswego High School. I’m a huge animal lover and love to travel. I play with the Oswego Players for five years now. I got involved in theater thanks to Ann Raynor who organized a theater camp one summer and I really enjoyed it. This is my sixth production with actors such as The Nutcracker, Snow White and the Villain Queen, Annie Get Your Gun, Fairytale Courtroom and now Bad Auditions for Bad Actors. I was also in a CNY Arts production of I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Over the past summer I had my first technical role at Players, as a prop master for Dearly Departed. I really enjoyed working behind the scenes and learning about another side of acting. I made lots of new friends here and can’t wait to see other productions with the Oswego Players and Oswego High School Dr ama Club.

Bad Auditions by Bad Actors takes place on October 22, 23, 24 and 29, 30 and 31 at the Frances Marion Brown Theatre, 30 Donahue Drive, Oswego. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale by calling the Oswego Players box office at 315-343-5138. For more information, log on to: oswegoplayers.org

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