A few summers ago my friend’s two daughters showed up at Venti’s —huge smiles on their faces — with stage make-up versions of scrapes and bruises. These scrapes and bruises looked pretty gory. I was impressed. Giggling, the girls told me it was from their stage make-up class at CET, Salem’s Children’s Educational Theatre. This was just one of their classes at this summer program which included offerings like dance, songwriting, stage combat, improv and set building.
CET is the Venti’s Live Salem partner for June, an effort to bring awareness to this dynamic, community-oriented institution as they head into their summer season.
CET Salem is in its 38th year. Each year the program provides an opportunity for Salem’s youth the chance to participate in the theatre — in all aspects of theatre. It is an extremely popular program that “not only teaches the theatre arts but also self-confidence, self-expression and how to work with others.” Regular program offerings include courses in acting, singing, dance/choreography, costuming and technical theatre aspects. At the culmination of the program, the students perform productions utilizing all elements from their studies. This year 190 kids are registered for the program — and, no surprise, there is a waitlist.
The program relies on grants, community partnerships and donations and, in turn, offers generous scholarships.
One of the biggest, most talked about events in the CET program is the performance at the Art Fair (two days, Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 11 at 11am). But CET productions are sprinkled throughout July with four different productions, including a traveling show and an original play. This summer’s program includes a pairing with the Marion-Polk Food Share. Performance of the original play “Twelve Resourceful Princesses” will include food drive for the Food Share.
CET is volunteer-run and parents of kids who are in the program are also involved in the program. Pretty cool way of involving the parents, and having talked to my friends who have children in the program this really becomes a passion for both the parent and child.
Consider supporting this great arts-and-kid organization by attending performances, enrolling your kids, donating an item to the CET auction, or making a financial donation. Every year CET provides thousands of dollars in scholarships so that children of all backgrounds can attend this fantastic five-week camp — your donation helps make that possible. Visit www.cetsalem.org to learn more.
Visit the CET web site for information about CET, registration, show times, how to support and more.