The ACM Theatre also carries out active outreach programs, including the Mito Citizens' Theatre Academy and Mito Children Theatre Academy, as well as special dramatic performances for grade school pupils and readings performed at libraries. Those education programs are carried out throughout the year from a long-term perspective.
Mito Citizens' Theatre Academy
Photo: office Photo StyleThe Mito Citizens' Theatre Academy, which opened in 1996, is aimed at adults and high school students, and is open to anyone, even persons without dramatic experience on the stage. After taking part in workshops and rehearsals, the students give performances of actual plays. The purpose of the Academy is to train practitioners of the art who will support the future world of theater from Mito.
There are many Theatre Academy graduates who still continue their association with drama, including those who have gone on to start their own dramatic troupes, as well as those who have performed in other local acting companies along with performances produced by ACM Theatre. The graduates of the program frequently keep in touch with each other even after they have finished. Many of them have mentioned that they now spend their free time differently than they used to.
For children below high school age, ACM offers the Mito Children Theatre Academy for 4th to 9th graders living in Mito City (see below).
Mito Children Theatre Academy
Photo: office Photo StyleA drama school opened by ACM Theatre for 4th to 9th graders from Mito City and surrounding communities. Applications are made each September for morning weekend classes beginning in October, and the program lasts approximately six months after the opening ceremony. A graduation performance is then held at the end of March by the Academy students at the ACM Theatre, marking the end of the entire curriculum. Students all receive a completion certificate.
As the basic policy of the Academy is "one for all," it is not a place for the mastery of individual acting skills. All the students learn the plays to be performed, and in that task they mutually support and recognize their fellow students, whom they have mostly met for the first time. It is thus a place for the students to cultivate within themselves the power to grow without excessive reliance on their fellow students.
Drama appreciation performances for grade school pupils
Photo: office Photo StyleThis program, carried out jointly with Mito City, began in 2004. Original stage works, produced mainly by members of ATM's resident dramatic troupe ACM, are performed throughout the year during visits to all 34 municipal grade schools in the city.
Performances at nursery schools and kindergartens
Works based on picture books and traditional Japanese kyogen comic drama are presented during visits to nursery schools and kindergartens in and around Mito City. Not only are the plays easy for the children to understand, but they are also enjoyable for adults to watch.
Dramatic readings are made by ACM actors and others at locations away from Art Tower Mito, including Mito City Library and other similar places. Different works are presented each time, including original ones, and they deal with a broad range of themes. Feel at ease to watch and listen to the readings!
Acting Company Mito (ACM) Kindergarten Visitation Performances
June to July 2011
Members of the Acting Company Mito (ACM), hoping to bring smiles back to the faces of young children still experiencing anxiety after the earthquake disaster of March 11, will tour several kindergartens throughout Mito City to give performances of theatrical works and to interact with the children. Several works from ACM's standard repertoire will be presented, including "Suteki na Sannin-gumi (A Wonderful Trio)" and "Tomodachi-ya (Friends)," along with readings of picture books.
Mito Citizens' Theater Institute
September 2011 to March 2012
This school consists primarily of workshops, each led by a different instructor with special expertise, to enable participants to experience dramatic theater, move their bodies, and enunciate words, among others. In addition, other activities will be coordinated with planned events at Art Tower Mito (ATM), with stage directors giving acting workshops, and talks given to deepen understanding of works being performed, so as to allow participants to learn more about the theater from multiple angles.
Dramatic Performances for Grade Schoolers
(Visitations and Performances by Acting Company Mito)
October to November 2011
Since fiscal 2003, the Acting Company Mito (ACM) has conducted this program to let children in Mito discover and experience the fun of dramatic theater and the importance of words through the actual viewing of performances. Over three years, ACM will have visited 34 unicipal elementary schools in Mito City. The play to be performed this year-"Run, Melos!"-is the same that was performed as last year, and will be shown at 12 schools around town. [Co-organizer] Mito City Board of Education
Mito Children's Theater Academy
October 2011 to March 2012
Lecturered by: Hirohisa HASEGAWA
Designed for 4th to 8th graders The purpose of the Theater Academy is to get children to experience and learn about theater as a "cooperative art." The classes concentrate on the three main pillars of drama: speaking, moving the body, and conducting dialogue. The graduation performance for the six-month program is scheduled for March 2012. Creative programs for the academy graduates will also be enhanced.
Grant: The Regional Creation Foundation