"I walked out of the workshop thinking, 'Hey, I can do this!'" ... a comment often heard at one of Ken Bradbury's Improv Workshops in elementary and middle schools.
Bradbury's name has long been associated with speech and theater since he's been the most-performed author in public school speech competitions in the United States every year since 1997. His scripts have won more honors in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Great Britain than any other author.
"But the really exciting part of acting," says Bradbury, "is watching kids come up with their own stories. And that's what I help them do. In fact, most of them think we're just having fun until... bang! ...they realize they've just created their own story."
Using a wonderfully fun-filled series of improvisational games, Bradbury leads his young audiences into the world of acting...in fact, before they even know they're becoming actors and authors. For over thirty years Bradbury has acted as special consultant to the Illinois Elementary Association's speech program, traveling the Midwest to libraries, schools, and youth gatherings, fitting his presentation to the particular needs of that venue.
"I've always felt that everyone's born an actor," says Bradbury. "And if we just try a little, we can keep that tool in our valuable bag of life skills." He freely admits that his goal is not to produce professional actors but to help young people open up their magic sack of possibilities. "If they perform professionally some day, that's fine," he says, "but I'm more concerned with how they feel about themselves. Acting is a joyous road to discovering who you are and using your skills to the best advantage."
Ken has presented programs for state youth conventions, churches, schools, speech and dramatics teams, summer library reading programs, and twenty-five years ago established his own series of summer camps for the performing arts.
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