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Hutchins Street Square to let students practice in theater for $10 fee

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Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:25 am, Fri May 11, 2012.

If you're a student performer who'd like to take center stage at Hutchins Street Square, you could soon have your moment.

The Charlene Powers Lange Theatre at Hutchins Street Square is often vacant, so city officials decided to offer performing arts students a chance to practice their talents onstage.

It's called "On the Stage."

Starting May 14, students can rent time on stage for $10 an hour, from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

"It's providing a facility they may not have access to, and it's low in cost," said Jeff Hood, interim director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

Availability will be based on time reserved and accessibility of staff. It will be open to college and high school students currently studying performing arts, and each pupil can bring a guest with them. The maximum capacity for students on-stage is 10 at a time.

All users must leave their student IDs at the box office during their rental time and fill out a waiver. Students under 18 need a parent or guardian's signature.

Performers will not be supplied with special equipment. They may bring their own, as long as they can carry it by hand and set it up themselves.

Patty Radotic teaches theater at Millswood Middle School. She could see her students renting out the space to practice for class projects or to rehearse on their own.

"I think they'd love it," she said. "The more often you can get them on the stage, the better."

If this program proves to be successful, it will continue to be offered through the summer.

"We're hoping there's interest; we're hoping students will enjoy the facility," said Hood.

For more information, call the Hutchins Street Square Box Office at 209-333-5550.

News-Sentinel staff writer Sara Jane Pohlman contributed to this report.

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