Dear CenterStage Patron:
When I was very little, my family was involved in a community theatre
in Texas. My Dad acted and built sets, my siblings performed small roles, and my Mom made pancakes during tech week for the cast and crew. My Mom never really stopped talking about that time. To her, it was the best thing that could have happened to a family.
I think that it was because of that influence that I turned to professional theatre when I was trying to “find myself” as a teenager. I didn’t want to do what my parents did – exactly; rather, I became ambitious. As I look back now however, all of my career choices have orbited around a strong gravitational pull. My parents knew something that I was too hubristic to fully understand:
When done well, community-based arts create a sense of belonging and foster an environment where all abilities are
valued, all differences are celebrated and all weaknesses
Much later, when my father had Parkinson’s Disease, I enrolled him in an Elderhostel acting program that I was teaching. His memory was suffering, but once he was given the opportunity, the lines from those plays came back to him as though it was yesterday.
By combining visits from Professional Touring Artists with our festivals, youth and adult classes - in the CenterStage and alternate venues-- we hope you too will be able to create lifelong memories of arts experiences in your community.
Some of these “added value” activities in this upcoming
- The Bowen McCauley Dance teaching Parkinson patients
- Drop off your young children and date your partner with “Parents Time Out”
- Honorees from the National Heritage Awards attending our Multicultural Festival
- A Sweet Honey In The Rock Residency for our Reston Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
- A “Build Your Own” Pancake lunch for kids before Gustafer Yellowgold’s performance.
- A 100th Anniversary of The Rite of Spring Double Feature
- Tell your own story in the class “Spotlight on You” by SpeakEasy
My choices for this first season of programming were personal and I hope they resonate for you, provide you with new experiences surrounding the artist visits, and make your own family encounters with our visiting artists memorable.