Small classes for small fry at Footlight Club

Susan Lawton

Courtesy PhotoStudents at the Children’s Theater Project, Nathan Tworektzky, Nicky Glassman, Willa Davis, Obi Ukomado and Fayrah Sytlianopoulos, try on hats at the Footlight Club.

Children get a taste of all things theatrical in director Carol Gallagher’s program of theater classes for children ages 5 to 7 at Eliot Hall, the home of the Footlight Club, on Tuesday afternoons.

In a recent interview, Gallagher said she enjoys directing children. In fact, she will be directing the Footlight Club’s production of “Oliver!” this spring. Having started performing as a child herself, she can relate to the excitement the children feel as they learn new skills and build their confidence, she said.

The Children’s Theater Program (CTP) classes are designed to be small enough that budding actors also get a taste of being in the spotlight. One of the best aspects of learning at the Footlight Club is that it offers the children the opportunity to see behind the scenes—the costume closet, the props closet and the dressing rooms—some of the hidden magic that goes into a theater production.

During the last season, the kids performed a Halloween play and brought costumes to life that entertained them and their parents. They learned what costumes and props can bring to role-playing and, through theater games, experimented with different characters, from animals to their favorite storybook characters.

“I am so appreciative of the work that Carol does because Nicky is clearly drawn to theater,” said Carla Bettano, whose child participated this fall. “Not coming from a theater background myself, I wasn’t sure where to place him.”

“Having Carol and the convenient location in JP is just perfect,” added Jenifer Lightdale, Nathan’s mother. “We feel that in joining your class we have found one of the hidden jewels of Boston.”

The winter session of classes begins Jan. 5. The classes are on Tuesday afternoons at Eliot Hall, 7A Eliot St., from 4 to 5 p.m. For more information on CTP, contact Gallagher at 913-8951.

The writer is a volunteer with CTP.

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