youth theatre: a parent’s perspective
The Green Room is such a special place – a place where anxiety and shyness disintegrate as you cross the threshold. Those who have seen the inner workings of the Green Room for a youth production can tell you how powerful theatre can be for kids. A village of volunteers led by Cassie Hermes, TCT Education Director, and Joanna Lassley, HHT Artistic and Education Director, come together to make the youth theatre program a vibrant environment that provides an inclusive and accessible outlet for children to experience all aspects of theatre. The Green Room is where the benefits of theatre, which is so much more than artistic expression, are on display in the most inspiring way.
“Behind the scenes you don’t see bickering or pettiness, just a lot of love and support among the kids and the parents,” says Arnita Wright, parent and volunteer. “It’s just a great place to build kids’ confidence, and a safe place to test their talents.”
The skills built in our youth theatre camps, classes and productions allow children the opportunity to learn about the audition process – building confidence, develop acting skills which in turn promotes communication skills, and theatre kids collaborate using technical skills such as lighting and sound operations which encourages real-world problem-solving abilities.
“Theatre has been amazing for both of my children,” says Natalie Nixon, parent and volunteer. “I have watched my kids grow in their abilities and confidence through their love of theatre. Stella has grown in her self-confidence and made so many friends. Liam is a major introvert, but he comes out of his shell when he is on stage and around his theatre friends. It’s just amazing.”
All of these skills are witnessed in the Green Room where everyone supports and encourages each other before each performance. It becomes much more than one performance on stage. The goal of our youth theatre programming is to propel children forward with a love of learning to enhance their personal passions and future careers. But more than that, theatre is like a second family. As Stella Nixon says, it’s a “home away from home.”
Become part of our theatre family by enrolling your child in classes or camps, sign them up for an audition, or if being on stage isn’t for your child, they can get involved behind the scenes with our Technical Theatre program. All TCT and HHT youth productions are managed by students! From acting to lighting, there are many opportunities for kids to thrive in theatre – doing what they love while building friendships that may last a lifetime.
“The kids AND adults at the Academy are truly like a big family,” Natalie says. “I’m so grateful for this environment where my kids can be themselves and be surrounded by friends, fun and love. I have also made some amazing new friends through TCT. It truly is like a second home.”