Preview, ATC's Online Newsletter
No. 1 - Fall 2011
Summer on Stage 2011
ATC's actor housing in the summer months is usually quiet and empty. This summer, however, it was neither empty nor quiet. The usual energy of an out-of-town cast bonding through the work and struggle of producing a show was replaced by out-of-town ATC staff, a majority of whom came together for Summer on Stage.
This member of the ATC staff spent the hot and monsoon-infused weeks of July in Tucson for Summer on Stage, ATC Education's program that brings together a passionate group of young people and various staff members; staff members who usually spend a great deal of time behind a desk or in front of a computer throughout the regular ATC season. During these five weeks, however, they lived and breathed the same youthful energy as the program's participants.
The Summer on Stage program culminates in two fully produced shows: a musical and a play; this summer we presented Chicago and A Midsummer Night's Dream, respectively.
In addition to the shows, the participants attended workshops, worked through a weeklong audition process, were encouraged and succeeded in making meaningful and lasting connections with peers, and perhaps most profoundly, connected with the stalwart and most creative pieces of themselves. These ‘pieces,’ for some, were unknown before the program, and for others may remain dormant for a significant portion of their school year.
At Summer on Stage, those pieces were a requirement. They must be--as what is asked of the high school aged participants is nothing short of professional and absolute commitment to the idea that they are artists with capacity and responsibility to their talent.
The shows produced this past summer were incredible and beautiful in every way. They played to packed houses--packed houses stunned at the quality of the productions and moved by the stories they told.
And even though the public performance is the end product of the program, there were times that transcended that goal. There were moments when the performances were not just a show put on by a group of high school kids but a show that stood on its own merits, with no apology.
At SOS, it is what the participants take with them after the final bow and after the last goodbye to their director or choreographer or cast mate or instructor that defines the program and our impact. While unique to each participant, the experience can be captured in the idea that each one of them is capable of extraordinary things.
That knowledge is infectious.
They take it with them everywhere they go.
And so do we.