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Individuals who attended the grant presentation for Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy included Leah Snowman, (back row, left to right) Sen. Tom Butler, Renona Seibert, Jacinda Swinehart. Dana Clark, (front row, left to right) Candice Cooper, Rep. Howard Sanderford, Karen Mockensturm, Sen. Sam Givhan, Marcus Garner, Andrea Boswell and Maegan McLaughlin. CONTRIBUTED

Fantasy Playhouse uses grant for technical theatre lab

HUNTSVILLE – Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy has received a $25,000 grant, which already has benefitted the organization.

The grant announcement included State Sen. Tom Butler of Madison, State Sen. Sam Givhan of Huntsville and State Rep. Howard Sanderford of Huntsville, along with members of the Resource Conservation & Development Council with the Alabama Mountains Rivers Valleys organization.

The council grant helped launch Fantasy Playhouse’s Technical Theatre STE(A)M Lab. (STE(A)M abbreviates science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.) The lab will provide students with hands-on learning opportunities to master the basics of technical theatre. Students will learn about color theory; sound engineering and design; lighting design; rigging; sets; and costume design.

With the funds, Fantasy Playhouse bought a teacher workstation and multiple student workstations, involving equipment such as computer towers, monitors, microphones, tablets, sound mixers and software.

Butler thanked Fantasy Playhouse for taking the initiative to seek funds and for supporting additional tools to help mentor younger generations who are interested in art and production.

“I’m happy to see that these funds are going to Fantasy Playhouse,” Butler said. “They have a wonderful program, and I look forward to seeing all of their continued progress and success.”

Givhan commended Fantasy Playhouse’s staff for their hard work. “As more young people walk in your doors . . . it’s an opportunity to teach STE(A)M skills that are in high demand in North Alabama,” Givhan said.

Sanderford said the technical theatre learning lab was impressive and thanked Fantasy Playhouse for their outreach in many ways in the community.

Karen Mockensturm, Executive Director of Fantasy Playhouse, said she is excited to use the technical theatre learning lab and provide industry-level performing arts education.

“We’ll be able to teach audio engineering, sound design, set design, color theory for costume design and many other skills with this equipment,” Mockensturm said. “I would like to thank (the council) and Madison County legislators for all their support in helping to fund this program and other programs we’ve offered over the years.”

Fantasy Playhouse provides theatre arts access through production, education and outreach, reaching more than 31,000 residents annually, including 21,000 children and youth. Core programs include children’s live theatre productions, classes, camps, workshops and fine arts preschool program. For more information, visit Fantasyplayhouse.org.

Established by the Agriculture Act of 1962, the Resource Conservation and Development Council provides a program that empowers rural people to help themselves. Alabama has eight RC&D councils throughout the state. For more information visit amrvrcd.org.

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