Here is Huntington Controller Mary Ellen Reardon's take on the Young Artists Showcase featuring presentations from the following Huntington programs: The Acting Class, The Acting Class Too, Scene Study, Know the Law and Young Voices Playwriting
"I attended the showcase on Saturday and I wanted to congratulate you and your staff on a job well done. The schedule of the day was great - the right balance of events before and after lunch.
I have to admit I'm a bit partial to the education and outreach mission because of the impact it makes in the lives of the kids participating in the programs. I strongly believe that the opportunity for young people to be creative and perform in front of an audience is an experience that transforms their lives. I loved seeing the confidence in their faces, whether they were performing or being the stage manager, as well as the shy smiles of those who looked like this was the first time they'd actually said anything out loud in front of somebody.
I missed the first acting group, but caught the Acting Class Too in their "cliff note" version of Much Ado about Nothing. Very clever presentation orchestrated by Amanda Hennessy - I loved that everyone wore their character's name around their neck ! The high schoolers in the Scene Study class were just as Bobbie Steinbach announced - some scenes were ready for the stage while others were still works in progress. The two scenes from Rabbit Hole were my favorites.
The scene from Know the Law was unlike anything I'd ever seen before....not really knowing anything about the program, I didn't know what to make of it. After the scene was played the audience was able to ask questions, and after listening to the kids responses I better understood what the scenes are about, and how gutsy the kids are in performing the scenes. They clearly are passionate about performing in the production and believe it makes an impact on the kids who see it and some of the decisions they'll make in life. Kudos to Amanda Rota and Naheem Garcia for nurturing the class. I understand there are some student matinees at the Wimberly next week and I'd love to sneak in to the back of the theater for one of them and hear what the kids in the audience have to say !
I was impressed with how much attention is given to those in the Young Voices Playwriting Workshop - what a remarkable opportunity for high schoolers to receive personal attention from both the Huntington's Literary Manager and local professional playwrights ! We only heard a few minutes from each of the plays, but it was fascinating to hear what was on the minds of the young playwrights. Lynn Johnson did a lovely job jumping in at the last minute filling in for one of the acting student readers.
I wish there were more opportunities for people to see how inspiring these programs are!"
Thanks Mary Ellen! Visit our website for more information on the above after school programs.