Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW), the nationally acclaimed summer youth theater program offered by California State University, Northridge, will celebrate its 65th anniversary this summer with a return to full production and two plays that illustrate the drama involved in sibling relationships.
“Hammered: A Thor and Loki Play,” which features the two brothers as teenagers, will open on Saturday, July 9, and will run through July 21. “Disney Frozen, Jr.” — the tale of two sisters based on the popular Disney animated movie — will open on Friday, July 8, and will run through July 21.
“This year we are very excited to have 71 students enrolled, which includes nine tech students,” said CSUN theater professor Garry Lennon, executive director of Teenage Drama Workshop. “Everyone is hard at work preparing two fantastic shows for our audiences.”
TADW started out as an activity for teens, to call attention to the cultural resources available at what was then San Fernando Valley State College. Over the years, the workshop has grown into a nationally acclaimed drama program.
“This is our 65th year of providing access to the arts to anyone who is interested, regardless of their skill level,” Lennon said. “Sixty-five years of creating memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, as well as entertaining audiences in the San Fernando Valley.”
One of the nation’s oldest such program, TADW immerse the teenagers — this year there are 69 students in grades 6-12 — in the day-to-day reality of a professional theatrical troupe, from designing lighting, costumes and sets to learning lines and choreography during an intense six weeks.
In the mornings, the teenagers attend classes in acting, voice and dance. They can choose electives in improvisation, musical theater, playwriting or the technical aspects of theater production. The afternoons are spent in rehearsal, building sets or putting together costumes and props.
“Hammered: A Thor and Loki Play” is directed by Eric White, with Lindsey Lorenz serving as assistant director and choreographer. “Hammered” is the story of two brothers, one the god of thunder and the other the god of mischief. Written by Tony Award-winning actor and playwright Christian Borle, the play explores the brothers’ relationship during their teen years as they vie for their father’s approval.
“Hammered” performances will take place in CSUN’s Little Theatre in Nordhoff Hall, located near the corner of Nordhoff Street and Etiwanda Avenue, at 2 p.m. on July 9; at 11 a.m. on July 13, 20 and 21; and at 7 p.m. on July 15.
“Disney Frozen, Jr.” is directed by Ronnie Sperling, with music direction by Arielle Phan and choreography by Candy Sherwin. The play is based on the Oscar-winning animated feature and adapted from the Broadway musical. Set in the fictional kingdom of Arendalle, “Frozen, Jr.” tells the story of Princess Elsa as she discovers the strengths of her magical powers and her bond with her sister, Anna.
“Disney Frozen, Jr.” performances will take place in the Campus Theatre in Nordhoff Hall at 7 p.m. on July 8, 15 and 16; at 2 p.m. on July 9; and 11 a.m. on July 13, 20 and 21.
In addition, TADW will present its annual “10-Minute Play Festival,” where student playwrights explore the dreams and challenges of their lives in original, short plays. Students in the playwriting and improvisation electives collaborate to bring an idea from “age to stage” in just six weeks. The festival will take place at 6:30 p.m. on July 19 in the Campus Theatre.
The Musical Theatre Showcase will take place at 6:30 p.m. on July 21 in the Campus Theatre.
Tickets for all performances are $15 per adult and $12 per child or senior citizen. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $12 per individual. To buy tickets, visit the website https://www.csun.edu/teenage-drama-workshop. Audience members will be required to wear masks at all performances.
For more information about CSUN’s Teenage Drama Workshop, visit its website https://www.csun.edu/teenage-drama-workshop.