We had an amazing production week and three amazing performances over the May 1st & 2nd weekend. Thanks to all the parents and students who put so much love into our project this year. Below is the program dedication, which some requested be posted here.

It’s an honor to work year after year with so many willing and talented young people. One of my objectives is to help them shed self-consciousness in order to use their bodies and voices in telling powerful stories.

With many teens, inhibitions can run high when asked to put themselves ‘out there’, especially in front of peers. They are mostly still young and sensitive to what others think of them. I tell them that the best actors are the humble, the magnanimous, like them. Entering into someone else’s life takes the empathy they still have. Feeling someone else’s story takes the compassion that hasn’t yet faded from them. I tell them that the audience wants to hear the story they will be telling. They have been given a voice.

Teens are great at detecting the phony and hypocritical. We seek stories with noble messages, where good still triumphs in the end. Our objective will be to study and convey the message to the best of our ability and it will take much practice. We will all collaborate and remember that there are no ‘stars’ here. It’s all-for-one and one-for-all. We hope that our production will be good enough to change us for the better. Can these fledgling thespians inspire others to reflect, to change, to contribute to life in more helpful ways as well?  This is the higher purpose of theatre. Powerful messages are most effective when conveyed with powerful voices. I am grateful that they are willing to rise to the occasion.

As you watch all the shows tonight you will see a progression of theatrical experience, from our beginning acting class in “Hippolyta Be Kidding Me”, to the playful retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, “Totally RED!” whose actors have a few years’ experience and finally, in our most challenging piece, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”  you will see and hear many students that have been working on their acting and musical skills for years.

These students don’t come back year after year because they are building up their resumes to get into a college or conservatory theatre program. They are in one way like the Rude Mechanicals in that they will be doing other work in their ‘day jobs’. But I impress upon them that the skills they will take with them when the curtain comes down are ‘ living skills’.  I hope that they will use the powerful voices they have honed here to bring uplifting messages to  the world in their future work and in their future families. I hope they always remember what a good and noble story is because the world still needs them, and whatever role they play in life, I hope they play it to the best of their ability.

~Barbara Schwartz