As we all struggle to stay busy and break the monotony, Chicago actress and acting coach, Jossie Harris-Thacker has been holding rehearsals for her first-ever play on Zoom . . . with kids! Her KidsWAY Acting Academy was set to perform their production of The Enchanted Bookshop by Todd Wallinger when Governor Pritzker issued the Stay at Home Order for Illinois. All of the hard work and rehearsals looked like it would be in vain. But, like a true performer, Harris-Thacker showed her young actors that the show must go on! Online!
“Everyone is on Zoom now. In one of our first online acting classes, I asked them to run their lines and I saw it,” recalled Harris-Thacker. “My imagination is always running wild with ideas that aren’t always simple and conventional.”
The Harlem-born actress, dancer, director, and producer started her career as an In Living Color Fly Girl before landing roles on many top television shows. She then parlayed her acting skills and passion for teaching into coaching actors through her Respect for Acting Academy for adults and her KidsWAY Acting Academy for kids and teens. She moved to Chicago a few years ago to be a part of Chicago’s emerging film and television scene and in hopes of having her acting academy help save kids and teens from the violence on Chicago’s streets.
These days Harris-Thacker does most of her coaching virtually – coaching actors throughout the Chicagoland area and all around the country. Her KidWay actors have been practicing and learning how to use Zoom to bring together a production that is likely the first of its kind.
“The hardest part about doing it on Zoom was being able to get 20 kids to sit still and focus!! Technically what was challenging was making sure that the kids had their props and showing them how to hold it right in frame”
Even though the world is set to “reopen” soon, the virtual production will showcase the talent, creativity and ingenuity of these committed kids and the inventiveness of their coach, all while continuing to keep everyone safe. You can experience the first ever virtual theatrical production of The Enchanted Bookshop this Saturday, May 30th at 4pm PST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST.
Register for your Zoom link at www.respectforactingacademy.com/Enchanted-Bookshop.
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