Digital Theater Production for Grades 5 and 6

Are your kids interested in the video-making process? Your Library’s Digital Theater Production program is a hands-on experience for kids in grades 5 and 6! For eight weeks, participants work together on digital video production basics, from storyboarding and set design to post-production editing and marketing.

The small group meets from 4-6 p.m. every Wednesday between October 6-December 1, 2021. Click here for the full list of weekly topics.

Spots are limited, so kids should fill out an application and return it to the Children’s Desk no later than Friday, September 3. You can download the application here or pick up one at the Children’s Desk.

The program is led by JCPL Library Assistant (and video-making enthusiast!) Kip Polmanteer. We talked with her recently about the program and what she hopes kids take away from the program.

JCPL: What will the kids do throughout the program?

Kip: Each week we’ll work through a different aspect of video production. They’ll outline a short story, design sets and costumes, work with the camera and lighting, and even edit clips to create a coherent film. The final week will be a very special red-carpet event where the kids will get to share the final piece with their families and reflect on all their work.


JCPL: What do you hope students take away from this experience?

Kip: With the arts, you always take away what you put into your creation. But my hope is that in general this program will open the kids up to be confident in new endeavors, build creative and cognitive skills, and excite them about the possibilities that digital production offers. I’m looking forward to giving them the space and tools to design a piece and work to see it unfold into something tangible. And honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I learn as much from the kids as they do from this program!


JCPL: Why is digital production an exciting and important topic for kids to learn about?

Kip: Kids are already making and watching videos online. They’re using technology that we wouldn’t have dreamed of even a decade ago. So the excitement is already there—the engagement isn’t forced.

This last year has taught us new ways to reach each other. When we step back and examine the ways we’ve been able to connect, they have a lot to do with finding a creative voice and sharing our stories in new ways, especially digitally. I think it’s important for kids to explore unique ways to tell their stories.

And Digital Theater Production is about more than just making movies, although that is a very exciting premise. It’s also about hard work and learning responsibility for deadlines and equipment. These are tools they’ll be able to apply to school, work, and creative pursuits for their whole lives.


JCPL: Why is the Library a good place to offer this kind of program?

Kip: Digital video production is a great way to bridge the gap between creative expression and literacy. When we think of literacy, we tend to think strictly in terms of reading or writing, but it can be about so much more. Digital production and, more generally, the worlds of theater and film, have a lot of overlooked potential when it comes to practical knowledge and skills. Yes, we’ll be using the art of storytelling to increase their literacy, but it goes deeper than that. Hands-on exploration of cameras, editing technology, and even the responsibility of deadlines, all advance students’ abilities to think both critically and creatively.

If you have questions about the Digital Theater Production program, call (423) 434-4458 or email Kip.

Click here to discover the many programs and services your Library offers for kids and families. Visit, call (423) 434-4450, or drop by 100 West Millard Street to learn more about your Library. Follow Johnson City Public Library on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube for daily updates.

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