Mississippi Theatre Lovers Take Center Stage In Biloxi

On stage at the Seanger in Biloxi, cast members with the Gulfport Little Theatre belt out the tunes to the Broadway classic "Les Miz".

Backstage, there's just as much drama as other troupes rehearse their lines, touch up their make-up, and wait for their performances to begin.

"I'm a little nervous. I haven't performed in a while," Melissa Fowler said.

Fowler is feeling the butterflies as she prepares for her play "Out of the Blues." She started three years ago working behind the scenes, and soon discovered the thrill of acting.

"Theatre is stepping out of your own self, how you are everyday, and playing somebody else. It's just great. It's so much fun. I really enjoy it."

The Mississippi Threatre Association hosted the "Children's Festival" to showcase young talents and expose more children to this art form.

Tonya Hays is the MTA President.

"Whether they find their niche as a musician, as an actress, running the lights or sound, there's a certain confidence that comes from accomplishing a job and working as a team".

Nine-year old Corey Duncan said, "I watched my sister practice and asked my grandma if I could be in the play.  It just makes you feel good. You can meet new friends and stuff".

Theatre lovers say once children make their debut on or off stage, the experience will help them prepare for their real roles in life.

"It gives you confidence and self-esteem, which is a skill that you need to get through any aspect of life," Hays said.

The Mississippi Theatre Association will also host performances, workshops and parties geared toward high school students and adults. The convention ends on Sunday.