Photo: Local West Chester University students Lionel McCulloch and Rachel Wilkin organize second summer teen challenge with Frontier Tales

West Chester University students Lionel McCulloch and Rachel Wilkin organize their second summer teen challenge project with "Frontier Tales" at the Morgantown Arts and Holistic Center on Main Street on Aug. 17 at 10 a.m.

The Morgantown Arts and Holistic Center, now housed at The Red Door Community Center at Walnut and Main Streets in Morgantown, will offer a free theater program at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17.

Local college students, Lionel McCulloch of Morgantown and Rachel Wilkin of Glenmore team up with Autumn Phillips of Honey Brook for their second annual teen challenge.

The teens have all worked together for several years with the Vagabond Acting Troupe and the Vagabond Performing Arts Academy at Steel River Playhouse. Last summer they presented a scholarship fundraiser musical production at Steel River.

Used to doing theater together in the summer, the college students hoped to do a project together before they head off to college at the end of the month, an hopefully in holiday vacations to come!

The teens are hopeful that the project will be the first of many as they work on building a theater program in the new arts center, and plan to bring projects home on their college breaks. To meet like-minded students in the area, they invite families to come join them for a fun interactive children's show called "Frontier Tales" about tall tale heroes on the American Frontier and follow it with an information session of their new frontier of theater on Main Street.

After the performance, the Morgantown Art's and Holistic Center will provide the opportunity to do a few craft projects for a small fee.

"We haven't named our group yet," said McCulloch, who organized last year's project at the Steel River Playhouse. "We just thought it would be great to do another challenge, and even better to do it closer to where we all live, so we decided to put something together to try it out here."

The 18-year-old teen will be attending West Chester University (as will Wilkin) in the fall where he expects to be very busy and hopes he might even get cast in a show. But he also hopes that on breaks and even long weekends he will be able to come home and family theater programs with students in the Morgantown area.

Phillips attends the Franciscan University of Steubanville.

Aileen McCulloch, past founding director of the Vagabond Acting Troupe (and Lionel's mother) is volunteering to help organize the teens to produce their first project at the Red Door. Geraldine (Jaeh) Guzman (Morgantown Arts and Holistic Center Director) also jumped in to assist the teens with the project by offering production building support. To give the young organizers a boost, the Red Door offered the space for free as well, so the teens could work on raising funds for something more ongoing.

Entry to the event is free, though the McCullochs say a hat will be passed with proceeds assisting with performing arts scholarships. The Red Door is also collecting new and slightly used children's books for a distribution campaign, so the team encourages people to bring those books along as well.

The show will start promptly at 10 a.m. and will run no more than 45 minutes. The craft will start shortly after at 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Parents should plan to stay with children during the event.

For more information about the theater program, email vagabondgal@gmail.com. The art center also offers arts and crafts, art lessons, wheel throwing, birthday parties and so much more. For more information visit www.mtownarts.com.

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