by Lisa Tome
While her full time job keeps her busy directing plays and teaching children in Pennsylvania, Rising Sun native Laura Woods is making time for her hometown.
Woods, with a supporting cast of family and friends, has opened an arts center and theatre in downtown Rising Sun. Street Lamp Productions is located in the building that was most recently Rigby's home decor store at the corner of Main Street and Valley View Drive.
While her job at the Jennersville YMCA overseeing arts and theater programs keeps Woods busy, she found time to direct local plays, benefits for Relay for Life, at Janes United Methodist Church for the last three years. She realized there was great interest in the area for the arts.
A year ago, Woods began looking at the building which she decided to use as the home to the theatre and the arts center. A construction project at her full time job kept Woods busy with that. In the spring, she moved forward with establishing Street Lamp.
"People have asked for it, and now it's here," said Woods.
And her plans include everything from music lessons to dance classes. Already scheduled are music lessons for piano, cello, violin, and viola.
Youth art classes, for children ages 7-12 will be held on Tuesdays. Dance classes, ballet/tap, and ballet/tap/jazz for children will also be held Tuesdays. There will also be an adult recreational tap dance class.
Musical Theatre class, for those ages 5-16, is looming. Those in this program will rehearse to perform "Disney's Little Mermaid Jr." Auditions for this show are set for September 21. There will also be a Christmas show, which will feature a performance for the community.
"The more opportunities kids get, the better they get," said Woods.
There will also be workshops including art with Legos, ceramics, and Kindermusik. Musical Theatre Ensemble classes will also be held on Tuesdays for children ages 9-15. That group will perform in the community. Strength in Numbers, Zumba dance fitness classes will be held at Street Lamp on Mondays and Wednesdays. Plans for Open Mic nights on alternating Thursdays. An alumni cabaret will be held in early November. Songwriting classes will also be scheduled.
Renovations to the Black Box Theatre will be finished in November. There are also plans for summer camps and additional teen and youth programs each year. She is working to get non profit designations and add scholarships for deserving children.
"I feel like I'm learning the town all over again. It's like going back down memory lane. It's so different here now. I had to go to Elkton (to perform) when I was a kid," she said.
Her parents, Steve and Lynn Muzert, sister Julie Munzert, and husband Kevin Woods, and friends Stephanie Keenan and Nancy Bevridge have worked tirelessly to get Street Lamp off the ground.
"They have pushed me to do this. My family is a huge presence," said Woods. "I'm busy but it's worth it. We're putting a lot of energy into this. It will be great."
For more information about the new business, check out the Facebook page Street Lamp Productions or online at www.streetlampproductions.org.