Youth theater program starts Thursday

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Eureka Springs Youth Community Theater, a new program offering instruction in theater skills, hits the boards Jan. 10.

The program is free, with eight sessions on Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Open to students 12 to 18, it will be led by Josh Mollenkamp, a College of the Ozarks theater graduate. The first sessions will focus on instruction in basic theater skills, Mollenkamp said, including mime, juggling, fencing and monologue. Co-organizer Doug Phillips, who also attended College of the Ozarks, said he and Mollenkamp have been thinking about starting a theater skills program in Eureka Springs for a while.

"We both enjoy theater, and think it's a good skill," Phillips said. "It's all about story-telling for Josh."

Mollenkamp talks about the new program on a youtube video (, in which he notes that performance skills promote confidence and offer experience in public speaking and teamwork. If there is enough interest, he and Phillips will keep the program going, with another eight-week session in the summer and one in the fall.

"We'll keep doing new activities and expand on different theater skills," Phillips said.

Mollenkamp, who is from Topeka, Kan., got involved in community theater at age 16, performing in main-stage productions and improv. At College of the Ozarks, he performed and directed productions. He is now a graduate student at Missouri State University. Asked about YCT eventually staging productions, Mollenkamp said the idea is to work up to that if there is enough interest, with the possibility of using a theater production as his thesis project. YCT students with theater experience will receive instruction geared to their level. The sessions will be held at First United Methodist Church, 195 Huntsville Rd., Eureka Springs. No pre-registration required. YCT has no religious affiliation or component. For more information, call Phillips at 417-773-2741 or email

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