As April arrives it becomes clear that the height of youth/high school theatre season is upon us. Much like the end of the school year means that signals that prom is around the corner, so to does it means that the school musical is now in session. But the musicals that I have seen lately in youth theatres have been sophisticated, polished, have great ensemble work, and talented actors doing very difficult parts. What happened to everyone doing GREASE for the 14th time while pretending to stand on a cardboard car?
I have been seeing shows at local high and youth theatres schools for the last few years for varying reasons. Sometimes I knew some of the performers or the adults that helped put on the show. Sometimes they were doing shows that I just had to see how they would do it, like when Valhalla did XANADU – do kids these days even know how to roller skate?
The thing that always strikes me is how good these shows are. Yes, they are limited by their budget, or the theatre space, or their lighting. But these kids are good. They can sing, they can dance, and sometimes their versions are better than ones I see on professional stages. It is inspiring to me to see these kids having such an amazing time on stage and how much I enjoy their performances. I’m not looking for a Broadway worthy performance, but I don’t doubt that I might be seeing a future Broadway star.
San Diego has a very well supported and supportive youth theatre community and for that I am very grateful. As someone who took part in that community I think that working in theatre gave me so of the traits that best help me outside of the footlights. I have no problems making presentations or talking to people, and it fed my love for history and literature since most works have classical and historical themes. There is such a community aspect to putting on a show, it’s not just the actors, but the stage managers, the lighting guys, and the musicians that help keep a show moving along. To take any part of your team for granted, to not pull your own weight, or else it would have a detrimental impact on the show overall. These are all good life lessons, theatre related or not!
So as spring musical season is upon us, go forth and enjoy the shows! Are you planning on seeing something this spring musical season? If so let me know what and where in the comments!