Tuesday, June 20, 2006 • Madison Healy going to summer theater school

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, June 20, 2006, edition of the Lassen County Times.

Lassen High School junior Madison Healy will be spending a month this summer attending Innerspark California State Summer School for the Arts in Valencia, Calif.

CSSSA offers classes in visual art and performing art including dance, theater and music and animation.

Healy was accepted into the theater program, which she said is a “very intensive acting program.”

The theater program is two-fold, the first part focusing on training and the development of the actor’s body movement. The second part focuses on the life of an actor.

“I want to be an actress,” Healy said.

By having the opportunity to be a part of CSSSA’s program, Healy said it will help make her stronger.

While at CSSSA, Healy said she will be attending classes in Tai Chi Chuan body movement classes, voice classes and improvising classes.

In the evenings, her time will be spent attending plays and art galleries. Students in the theater program will also have an opportunity to work with students from other departments in developing scripts, monologues, film and performance art projects.

“There will be professional actors coming in to tell us about their lives. It will help improve my overall acting skill,” she said.

In the past, guest performers at CSSSA have included, The Faustwork Mask Theatre, Daniel Stein, The Green Fools, a Brazilian physical theatre troupe who were in their first U.S. performance and residency, and the Shamans, an award-winning company from Hungary.

In addition casting agents and companies are scheduled to meet with students to give them a realistic picture and an idea of the variety in the acting profession.

Special seminars have been conducted by casting agent Deborah Barylski, actors James Belushi, Helen Hunt, Leonard Nimoy and stunt coordinator Dean Ferrandini.

Only 100 people are accepted into the theater program. Healy’s mom, Toni Healy, said the theater program is the most competitive program at CSSSA.

As part of the application process for the program, Healy  said she filled out a long application and had to perform a four-minute monologue, including an introduction and a reason why she wanted to be a part of the program.

Because she likes acting, Healy said the monologue was the easy part and the introduction was the difficult part.

“I just kept doing it over and over until I got it right,” Healy said.

For her monologue, she chose the balcony scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

“I love the story, and I love Shakespeare,” she said.

Healy received coaching from Dr. Tom Gauthier, who also let her film her monologue on the balcony at his home.

Gauthier helped her get into character and act out the monologue, rather than just recite the monologue, Healy said.

Acting, is just another form of art Healy is interested in.

She said she is a left-brain person and said she has been drawing since she could hold a pencil.

In junior high, Healy said a teacher suggested she should apply for CSSSA’s animation program.

Healy also plays several musical instruments including the saxophone and the flute.

She was a member of Lassen High School’s jazz band, the symphonic wind band and has played in the Susanville Symphony Swing Band.

For an English assignment during her freshmen year, Healy had to memorize a monologue and said that is when she realized she liked acting more.

She then became part of drama teacher Tom Ready’s program at LHS and said she loved it.

During a Lassen Union High School District Board meeting on Tuesday, June 13, Ready presented Healy with a certificate to honor her acceptance into CSSSA.

“I’m really proud of her,” Ready said.

He said he looked forward to working with her on-stage and grow the artist within her. Healy’s future plans include going to college, but sbe isn’t quite sure where she wants to go in the acting industry.

“I just like acting. It would be cool if I got to Hollywood, though,” she said.

The California Governors Office created CSSA in 1986 to recognize and promote the young artists and provide them with more intensive training in the arts.