In the fall of 2010, Theatrikos Staff and Board of Directors made a bold move by deciding to dedicate significant energy and resources to developing Youth Outreach and Education and expanding its TheatriKIDS program. By expanding the amount of programming available we have created a year-round continuum of education and performance opportunities for the youth of our community. One component of the Youth expansion is the addition of the Mainstage Jr. Series.
The purpose of the Mainstage Jr. Series is to give youth a living laboratory in which they can take their talents and put them into practice both onstage and off. Imagine a production that is literally staffed from top to bottom with students not just acting, but running lights, moving sets, ushering, acting, make-up and hair—all supervised by adults but run by youth. This is the dream behind the Mainstage Jr. Series, which is open to 7-18 year olds throughout the year.
What sets these shows apart from our summer performance workshops is that these shows are competitive, open auditions which means that students have to try out for a role. Those who audition that aren’t in the cast are invited to help with the production behind the scenes, given tips and advice to help improve their next audition, and kept up to date with other TheatriKIDS events.
The production for chosen for the Mainstage Jr. Series are family-friendly and accessible to the general public. They are usually classic plays that have withstood the test of time, or based upon solid works of literature. Many of our plays are chosen to coincide with the current Mainstage production’s set so as to maximize our use of space, resources, and time.
The shows are staffed by adults many of whom are theatrical students or students with an interest in the theatre from our local community college and state university. Each adult has been trained to in turn train the students under them in their particular expertise.
So it’s not just about doing it for the youth or getting free labor but it’s about training them up to be able to run both the technical and artistic side of the theatre.
If you would like more information on the Mainstage Jr. Series, please click here to email Theatrikos Education Director Joe Maniglia.