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Kara Manson

 Kara worked with the New England Youth Theater from 1999-2004. She remembers way back when NEYT didn't have a home and met in the bottom of the Center Congregational Church. She also remembers the horrors of the "Green Room" before it was renovated Wow. Her first role with NEYT was the Parrot in Treasure Island and from there went on to star in many shows such as 

As You Like It (Rosalind), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena), The Crucible (Elizabeth Proctor), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Suzanne), King Lear (Goneril), and MacBeth (Lady MacBeth). She traveled with Stephen and the cast of King Lear to England, where NEYT set the foundations for an exchange with David Vann's theater in Birmingham. She took master classes with Jon Epstein and Keeley Eastley, and was guided towards the Brandeis University theater program by Peter Gould. Since her graduation from high school, Kara has also worked as a director for the summer Melodrama Camp.

NEYT was always primarily a fun place to be. I wanted to do theater and lots of it, and this was the place to be! Most of my best friends were also a part of NEYT, and we were fortunate enough to learn and grow together while at the same time being allowed to still be kids and have fun. However, I didn't fully realize what great experience I had until I left high school. Many students I work with now in college have been acting as long as I have, in nicer facilities than I had. But I am equally prepared for undergraduate theater, and frequently more so, than many of my peers. I have found that the old saying, "If you can perform Shakespeare, you can perform anything" to be profoundly true. NEYT provides invaluable exposure to challenging, classic texts at a young age. We tackle these dense plays and make that accessable, and if you can do that with something as old as Shakespeare, you can do that with any range of material. Equally important is the physical training that Stephen and Peter provide. As a high school student, clowning may seem ridiculous and unnecessary for "realistic" acting, but the physical work that is taught at NEYT teaches adolescents control and discipline over their changing bodies. Physical presence and comprehension of the text are arguably the two most important things for teenage actors to learn. For an actor with a mind and body that are alert and focused, it is much easier to continue learning the craft.

I am currently in my third year at Brandeis University as a Theater Arts major with a concentration in Acting. I took the undergraduate musical theater program by storm, and starred in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Urinetown, The Musical last year. In May, I was elected the Treasurer of our club. I am currently in my first production with the department, a Spanish Golden Age drama by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, "The Physician of His Honor". I landed a very substantial role as Prince Enrique, and I'm having the time of my life-- although I am exhausted. I am working alongside some of our graduate actors, and am learning a lot from them as well as my directors. I'm also very excited to learn that I'm about at the same level of work as the graduate actors, which gives me great hope for my future work. NEYT kids should definitely check out the Brandeis Theater program. There are no auditions for the program, but that doesn't mean we don't do conservatory-worthy work. The department bases a lot of its training in the Suzuki method, and our Chair is a certified Suzuki instructor, having trained with Suzuki himself. We do a lot of experimental and lesser-known theater, but when we do something well-known, it's always edgy. The design department is one of the best in the country, and for a small-town actor coming from a tiny black box stage with no wing or fly space, working with our designers is unspeakably energizing. You have to see it to believe it.

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