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  • Writer's pictureShawna Bonnett

Art and Sol for Kids, for Family, for Community.

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Have you considered an after school program for your child? If you are not already familiar with Art and Sol, please let me introduce you.

Kids performance theatre children theatre Child theatre development program  Theatre
Arcadia kids perform in Art and Sol's production of Cinderella Jr.

Renee Werkheiser was a grade school teacher for 6 years when she started Art and Sol. She continued teaching 3rd grade at Hopi elementary for 4 more years while running the Arcadia Art and Sol program. Then, as a brand-new mom of 2, she opened her second "Central" location. Her third location (Scottsdale) was opened when her son was old enough to participate. This year, 2023, is the 20th Anniversary of Art and Sol!

It is offered to school aged children between Kindergarten and 10th Grades. Boys and girls alike will meet one night a week in a local church for rehearsals where they build everything from friendships to confidence. Every child gets a part in each production. They make the smallest part feel like the biggest part for kids to be on stage. It culminates in a performance at the end of the semester in a REAL theater, on a REAL stage, complete with Costumes, Microphones, a Full Audience, Concessions, an Intermission...the whole experience!

Below are 10 ways that I've see my children grow and benefit from Renee's program.

  1. Creativity and Imagination: Theater encourages children to use their imagination to create characters and stories.

  2. Confidence Building: Performing on stage can help build a child's confidence. It requires them to speak clearly, project their voice, and express themselves in front of an audience.

  3. Communication Skills: Theater helps improve verbal and non-verbal communication. Children learn to articulate their lines clearly and interpret body language and facial expressions.

  4. Teamwork and Collaboration: Putting on a play requires teamwork. Children learn to work together, coordinate movements, and rely on one another to create a successful performance.

  5. Empathy and Understanding: Acting often involves understanding and embodying the experiences and emotions of characters. This helps children develop empathy and a broader understanding of different perspectives.

  6. Problem Solving: Rehearsing and performing a play involves overcoming challenges, whether it's memorizing lines, blocking (movement on stage), or finding creative solutions to technical issues.

  7. Discipline and Time Management: Being part of a theater production requires commitment and discipline. Children must attend rehearsals, memorize lines, and be punctual.

  8. Cultural Appreciation: Through theater, children can explore different cultures, time periods, and experiences. This can lead to a greater appreciation for diversity and history.

  9. Emotional Outlet: Acting can be a way for children to express themselves and work through emotions. It provides a safe space for them to explore a range of feelings.

  10. Academic Improvement: Studies have shown that children involved in theater often perform better academically, particularly in areas such as reading, writing, and problem-solving.

Renee offers a variety of schedules, and locations all which can be found on her website. Watch for summer camps as well. Check with her directly for scholarship opportunities.

Whether your child is headed to the front of the classroom for a presentation, or to the big lights on Broadway NYC, Art and Sol is there to help!

Kids will Act, Dance, Sing...and SHINE in Art and Sol.



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