Local News

Walltown Children's Theater Teaches More Than Dance And Drama

Posted April 29, 2001 2:44 a.m. EDT

— In the peaceful calm of a west Durham neighborhood, if you listen carefully you just might hear the rhythm of dreams taking shape. Almost every afternoon, dozens of kids stretch their imaginations at the Walltown Children's Theater.

"It's keeping our minds off of bad things, off of negative things. It gives us something constructive to do," says one student.

Joe and Cynthia Henderson opened their theater in the heart of the Walltown neighborhood just a few months ago.

Cynthia Henderson is a former Alvin Ailey dancer. She and her husband Joe opened this dance and drama studio in hopes of reaching kids from all walks of life. Parents pay on a sliding scale depending on what the family can afford.

"When I look at the guys, I know they're loving it and they can't believe they're here." says Cynthia Henderson.

"I think that was one of the challenges for us was to put it in this neighborhood and then bring everyone else from Durham into this neighborhood," says Joe Henderson.

The classics are a staple at this studio. For these teens, Shakespeare rules.

""It's a great place if you've had a bad day at school to get out all your anger and express yourself," says Max Rose.

"I like coming here. [They] may be strict, but it's a good environment," says another student.

When people see kids coming in and doing things you didn't expect them to do, that wins over any heart," says Joe Henderson.

The Walltown Children's Theater is on Berkley Avenue just off of Guess Road. An open house is scheduled for May 19th at 2 p.m.