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For creative young minds seeking an outlet this summer, high school theater students are invited to exercise some creative freedom and hone their craft at the Eugene O’Neill Foundation’s Studio Retreat in Danville.

Offered by the foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Studio Retreat is a 10-day program offering students with a passion for acting and playwriting a series of masterclasses in theater, taught by Bay Area theater professionals with years of experience in their fields.

“The venue for this exciting, educational experience is the beautiful Eugene O’Neill Historic Site in Danville, California. It is free, but space is limited to a select number of playwrights and actors,” foundation staff said in a statement.

“Each masterclass gives incoming, rising, and current high-school students a chance to learn from, and collaborate with, professional playwrights, actors and stage directors in the development of original 10-minute plays,” they added.

Foundation staff say aspiring young playwrights can join a program that will help them develop their own short scene script for a final public performance, with instruction that delves into character development, dialogue and story arc.

Student actors will in turn perform these original scripts, according to staff, who added that after a week of courses that offers participants insight into “building characters and the importance of movement and voice, all while they learn the foundations of acting technique taught at college- level programs.”

After thorough rehearsal, these original works will be performed by students for friends and family on the final day of the program (Aug. 1).

The workshop meets daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Eugene O’Neill Historic Site in the Danville hills.

The Studio Retreat program is broken into two five-day blocks, with the first block running from July 21-25. The second will begin on July 28 to Aug. 1.

Participants are advised that pending National Park Service regulations, students may need to wear masks and practice other COVID-19-related safety measures during the retreat.

Interested residents can learn more and sign up for the Studio Retreat online at www.eugeneoneill.org.

This article was originally published by Danville San Ramon.

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