Community Theater Group Fills Drama Void For Young Actors

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Where schools lack structured theater and arts departments, there are programs available to children to study drama and visual arts in depth. The Shubert Theatre in New Haven has a summer program for kids interested in taking drama arts and design classes.

Kelly Wuzzardo, the director for education and outreach for the Shubert Theatre, helps run the summer camp. She says even though kids perform better academically when they are involved in arts programs, the arts are under-appreciated.

A U.S. Department of Education report from 2009 notes that elementary school theater programs decreased between 2000, when about 20 percent of schools offered the subject, and 2010, when only 4 percent of the schools said they offered instruction in drama.

Middle and high schools were more likely to have drama instruction, with 45 percent offering a class in theater. But the report says only 28 percent of schools with higher poverty concentrations offered the programs.

Connor Madison is a student at Middlesex Community College.