‘Awesome’ kids celebrate anniversary, continue acting opportunities

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published April 14, 2015

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CLAWSON — If you’re a fixture in Clawson then there is a good chance you have bumped into Max and Madison Siwak.

The brother-and-sister team currently host and produce the “Awesome Clawson” and “Awesome Clawson Kids” local television shows, hold charitable collection drives for the Clawson Food Pantry and local animal shelters, intern at the Clawson Chamber of Commerce, and run the Acting Out Kids Community Theatre.

The duo is currently celebrating its one-year anniversary with the well-received nonprofit community theatre program that takes an approach of providing a noncompetitive environment for kids, by kids.

“Clawson didn’t have a community theater, which was kind of sad, so we decided to start one in Clawson for kids that aren’t as competitive and maybe don’t have as much experience and just want to have a good time,” Madison said.

Mother Nicole Siwak said she is proud of her children.

“The fact that he’s 11 and she’s 14 and they started when he was 10 and she was 13, they’ve already accomplished more than I ever have accomplished,” she said.

Nicole said she serves an administrative role with the theater, but it is Max and Madison’s brainchild and passion.

The Acting Out Kids Community Theatre includes twice-a-month drop-in events and acting classes.

“I like interacting with the kids one-on-one rather than being just in a group, because then I get to know the kids better,” Max said.

Nicole said the theater gives kids the opportunity to act, sing and dance, and also to have fun in a safe, casual and friendly environment.

“There is never any pressure,” Nicole said. “We just want kids to feel comfortable and to have fun.”

Max and Madison plan all of the activities, but other children are invited to take the lead, as well.

“Through the acting and improvisation games, kids learn real life skills such as public speaking, social interaction, building confidence, taking initiative, expressing ideas, being creative and working together as a team,” Nicole said. “And just being creative and just being allowed to be a kid and have fun and use your imagination.”

Members of the theater are involved with making commercials for upcoming Clawson events, volunteering at city happenings and taking field trips to other children’s theaters.

A new season of acting classes taught by Max and Madison will begin April 21 for interested thespians ages 7 and older.

“We teach them improv, but we also focus more on learning a script and monologues, and we are going to be adding a musical theater aspect, too,” Madison said. “So singing and dancing will be added to the new classes coming up.”

The classes will take place from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesdays through May 26 at the Hunter Community Center, 509 Fisher Court.

The cost is $50 and Nicole said the classes will include interactive acting games and activities.

All participants of the Acting Out Theatre will have the opportunity to participate in the group’s unique summer production based on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“For our summer production, we were originally going to do ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ but we decided we wanted to film it as a movie, so we are going to make a parody of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’” Max said.

Madison said doing a film provides the group with the opportunity to involve more kids. The movie will include commercials that are created, acted and filmed by the group.

“We’re kind of out-of-the-box. We’re not like most community theaters,” Madison said.

Max and Madison will write the script, leaving some room for individuality of those involved with the team.

“I think that we’ve grown stronger acting with all of the kids and becoming a team,” Max said.

Acting Out Kids Community Theatre drop-in events take place from 7-9 p.m. every second and fourth Friday of the month at the Clawson United Methodist Church, 205 N. Main St.

The drop-in events are for kids ages 8-18 and cost $5. During the evening, kids can participate in performances, workshops, classes, commercials, field trips and community events.

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