If you enjoy being around music, dance and theater, it can be kind of a thrill to be sitting in the office at the Majestic Theater. Especially when it’s about 5 p.m. on the day before St. Patrick’s Day.
The pounding echo from Irish step dancers to the rhythmic beat of bodhrans, accordions, and fiddles provided quite the backdrop for my meeting with Majestic’s Education’s Coordinator, Willow Norton.
While this Irish guy found himself tapping a foot to the beat, what really captivated me was Willow’s passion and excitement about the Majestic’s impending Spring classes serving youth ages 18 months to 19 years.
Starting April 2, Majestic Education has offerings (see the sidebar) designed to encourage confidence, creativity and communication skills in kids and teens. The classes are intended to serve all skill levels and were developed to inspire youth to explore their imaginations and find their own voices.
The revival of the Majestic Education program began in February with the tremendous success of A Thousand Cranes. Directed and produced by Norton, the production, with a cast of local kids ages 7-17, had over 880 people attend four packed performances.
Originally from Eugene, Willow Norton has spent over 8 years working in and teaching professional theater. Whether it’s been in New York, Seattle and in Philadelphia, she has been involved in all levels of professional theater, but has a particular passion for exploring new work development and working with youth to help them investigate the arts and challenge their potential.
Now back in her home state, Norton is excited to bring back what she’s learned and find ways for youth to be a part of contemporary performing arts.
She adds, “Our goal is to provide an entirely new approach to theater and learning through the arts. Our approach is fun and engaging. The children create the material and story structures we work from. The emphasis of the techniques we are using is to help students develop a broad set of social, creative and critical thinking skills.”
For a detailed listing of Majestic Education’s spring classes and a registration form, please visit www.majestic.org/education. You can also register at the Majestic Theater during business hours (Tuesday-Friday 12:00-5:00). Scholarships and sibling discounts are available. Email questions and concerns to Willow Norton at willow[at]majestic[dot]org or 541-758-7827.