Arts Activities Support
ACHF Arts Access
We hope to have over 40 youth participating and over 600 community members attend the shows. Participants will be engaged in a hands on learning environment in a well-rounded theater experience. The professionals and artists involved with the program will evaluate the outcomes and at the end of the project. Financial success is measured by meeting two goals of keeping the participants and audiences fees low, so it is accessible to everyone in the community. The second goal we stay within our project budget expenses. Additionally this year we will ask parents to complete an anonymous online survey with five basic questions to help improve our program. One question asked parents is to rate their satisfaction 1 to 5 (1 = extremely dissatisfied; 5=extremely satisfied with Summer Youth Theater as a program. We are also hoping to receive some practical suggestions to help improve the program. We plan to continue the online survey in future years.
Parents were to complete a survey with 5 questions. Out of 32 families, 16 surveys were completed. One question asked was to rate satisfaction 1 to 5 with Summer Youth Theatre. 15 chose 5 (extremely satisfied), and 1 chose 4 (satisfied.) We received praise and practical suggestions. We planned on 40 youth involved in this year’s show, we ended up with 39. We estimated an audience of 500 and our actual audience was 780! We achieved all 4 articulated goals, and we consider this year’s show a success. We provided a place for youth to explore their creativity and learn about theatre. 39 youth were involved. Our original script allowed students to be creative and add their own touches. Cast members had a blast diving into their unique character, building background stories, and turning a rough draft into a polished show. One obvious strength in this year’s program was the opportunity for our participants to develop leadership, self-esteem, discipline, and cooperation in working together to produce a show in 6 weeks. This year’s cast was especially young, and it encouraged a group of eighth graders to really step up into that leadership role when our leaders are traditionally closer to tenth grade. This group served as a model to others for teamwork and positive attitude despite a large age difference. Another strength of this year’s show was the script’s theme. Each year we strive for a theme or moral that encourages global consciousness and/or critical thinking. This year’s script was certainly educational and timely. Kids for President taught our cast members about the electoral process and challenged the audience to consider the desired qualities in leader of this country. One young mother told me that after seeing the show, her conversation in a fifteen minute car ride with her 5-year-old went from definition of a good and bad leader to exploring different government systems! We certainly met our goal of challenging audience members to reflect. One challenge this year to the artistic process was changes in the personal lives of directors. For the past five years, Hannah and Jake (script authors and directors), Lauren (music composer and director), and Kyle (tech director) have worked very well together and developed an easy rhythm. This summer all had big changes such a new baby, graduate school classes during rehearsal, and a new job. This demanded some creativity at rehearsal bringing in past participants to help with rehearsals. Additionally, our student directors had to be absent for a couple weeks here and there. The inconsistency of adults at rehearsal created a challenge in developing a routine-based environment for young learners. If a similar situation occurred in future years, we would work hard to have at least two or three adults who can be at rehearsal every day rather than just one consistent adult. We feel that we served the diversity of our community well. The program is designed to be open and accessible to all who want to participate. The registration information clearly states that all youth who completed grades 3 through 12, had an equal opportunity to be involved in the production. All households in the district receive the registration information in the Summer Community Education brochure. Those who were involved in the administrative, artistic, and volunteer groups who worked on the project represented the diversity of our community. We believe the community is always affected for the better by Summer Theatre performances. We see positive reactions from the actors, their families, and their friends. We also hear testimonials from current and past participants that Summer Theatre is or was one of the best experiences. We have seen many Summer Youth Theatre participants continue their theatrical involvement in the high school plays, often landing large roles because of their abilities and experience. Students testify that they not only grew theatrically, but also personally. Strong friendships are formed in Summer Youth Theatre, and it is the goal of the directors to be mentors in all aspects of life. The majority of the participants are involved in their early teens. It is such a crucial time in developing their morals and ethics. Summer Youth Theatre fosters a positive, safe environment in which students are able to grow. Summer Youth Theatre provides an opportunity for individuals to shine on stage. Every student is given at least two lines, and everyone participates in several songs with choreography. Participants are encouraged to stay after rehearsal and contribute to set work and finding/creating costumes. Students are given the opportunity to be involved in whichever way they wish, resulting in learned teamwork skills, technical skills, and self-esteem. They then carry those skills out into the community in a variety of ways: involvement in their church, 4-H, jobs, sports, teams, and volunteerism. Because our program design is flexible and inclusive, we are able to readily accommodate participants with special needs. Participants can indicate special needs on the registration form. An American with Disabilities Act statement is printed in the Community Education brochure. A number of participants this year were diagnosed with anxiety. With the help of directors communicating with parents, they were able to participate without barriers. Students do not need to audition to be in the show. Registration alone guarantees them a spot on stage – auditions simply dictate which part they get. This makes theatre accessible to students who may be shy initially and allows them to grow in confidence. We were able to accommodate several limited-mobility persons at our performances by use of our easily accessible, state-of-the-art performance space. Many people utilized the elevator and reserved handicapped seating.
Other, local or private