ART BEAT: Lionheart's new center celebrates photo exhibit


Students at Lionheart's inaugural Performing Arts Centre photography class view the world through their own lenses. (Special Photo)

Lionheart Theatre’s Performing Arts Centre will be hosting a special exhibition of work created by young students from their inaugural photography class. The event is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 in the new space at 125 Lawrenceville St. in Norcross. It is right down the hill from the award-winning community theatre. In addition to the photography exhibition there are demonstrations by young artists performing from acting and monologues classes. There is no charge for admission.

This evening marks the end of the first group of classes at the Performing Arts Centre. The next slate of classes for all ages begins on Oct. 14.

Photography might seem like an unusual class to hold for young actors learning the craft, but according to Lionheart spokesperson Jason Caldwell, it makes perfect sense.

“Acting and performing is all about putting yourself into your character,” he said. “Photography allows people to step outside themselves and see things from a different perspective. Taking a photo allows kids and adults to step outside themselves and puts them in a different frame of mind.”

The class also had Cathy Seith as a teacher, an award-winning photographer.

“I love teaching photography to these kids,” she said. “They are so creative and fun. They are not held back by rules and they have so much imagination and energy. It has made me explore my own work as well.”

One of the students’ favorite events from class was a photography scavenger hunt. The students were told various subjects to look for such as “something that is alive,” “something that is moving.” This provided some unexpected photos and took the class in a great direction, according to Caldwell.

Lionheart’s Performing Arts Centre will be offering six week courses for children and adults in this location. Classes are $90 with a $25 registration fee. Class sizes are kept to 10 students or less.

Acting classes are tailored to the skill level of the class and teach both the basics and advanced theories of acting, from character development, working with scene partners and monologues to putting together a play. Acting classes are offered on Mondays and Thursdays.

Musical theater classes aim to teach an overview of auditioning tactics, dance, acting for musical theatre, and of course, singing. This class is offered on Thursdays, once for kids and once for adults.

Improvisation aims to teach through fun games and skits, encouraging active listening and mental flexibility.

A beginning scrapbooking class will be launched this session on Saturdays, and plus, there will be photography. Seith will be teaching adults on Tuesday evenings and kids on Saturdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Participants need a digital camera, but it doesn’t need to be a fancy one, according to Seith.

The Performing Arts Centre is also open for rentals. Themed birthday parties with costumed characters, dinner theater parties, home school group activities and tutoring are available.

For more information about the PAC, visit www.lionhearttheatre.org, email info@lionheartpac.com or call 678-365-6561.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.