A new children theater's art program is promising to help children find their place on the stage is taking shape at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack.
Commack resident Rochele Seskin, an actress with more Broadway credentials, is helping shape a new Theater Arts Center at the Suffolk Y JCC for kids. The program looking to build on the works of the former On Centerage program run by Barbara Bresin before her retirement.
"Commack is a big sports town," Seskin said. "The perception of what a theater kid is a theater geek kind of thing. A big part of what we are going to do is change that kind of perception and its already changing."
Seskin will serve as co-artistic director of the TACSY program alongside theater veteran Sid Cherry, an experienced composer and musical director. Together, they are writing an original show, Kidz Rock 2, which Seskin calls a "Rock of Ages" for children" to serve as the program's first production.
TACSY will be offering local children the chance to become involved in productions of both original and classical Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals. The children will take up the role of actors, the chorus and be offered the chance to learn everything from acting to stage design, or lighting and sound.
Seskin said she believes that theater programs can teach children many valuable lessons in presenting themselves as well as boosting self-esteem.
"Every character in every show has a special place in the program. Even if you are in the chorus, someone is looking at you. You have to be okay with who you are and know that is enough," she said.
The program's aim is to produce two to three children's shows within the first year, according to Seskin, in addition to an 8-week summer camp program. In the future, the co-directors hope to increase the number of shows once the program gets established.
TACSY will be holding auditions for Kidz Rock 2 at 1 p.m. on Jan. 13 at the Suffolk Y JCC. All children enrolling in kindergarten through eighth-grade who audition will be accepted as founding members into the group, and given a role within the production.
Seskin said there will also be volunteer positions for Commack teens and college students who have an interest in learning theater production. TACSY will be accepting those with interest in serving roles such as assistant director, assistant stage manger,etc. to work with the children for service credit.
The TACSY program costs $175 for Suffolk Y JCC members, $215 for non-members for the three-months of production.