Local Children’s Theatre and Teen MentorshipApril 3rd, 2011 by jennyonthespot
Did you know that Kitsap Childrens Musical Theatre (KCMT) has been providing local youth with a positive, professional environment to learn about and perform in musical theater for more than 10 years?
The mission of the non-profit, all-volunteer organization is to be available to all young people who want to participate, regardless of background or financial standing. The theater group produces three shows a year in addition to running a very popular summer camp.
But KCMT takes it further… As a parent of children involved in KCMT, I have seen something especially wonderful about this “all-volunteer” program. Many of these volunteers are teens. They comprise the invaluable “teen staff” component of KCMT. These teens are taught and mentored not only in theater-involved responsibilities, but in skills that will benefit them as adults.
[photo credit: Scott Sorensen]
Teen staffers are given the privilege of responsibility, and of ownership in key parts of each KCMT production. There are times I have had questions about a show. My questions will often be directed to the teen in charge. It’s their job.
Sara Adams, the director of the upcoming production of 101 Dalmatians said these teen staff members put in as many hours as she – often up to 1,000 hours of volunteer time per production!
In return for their time, they get experience and Sara Adams fills out many-a-recommendation letter. The teens are regarded as a vital piece of the creative machine that is KCMT.
An example of this mentorship is the 101 Dalmatians teen staff photographer, Lauren Wolbaum. Scott Sorenson, the main KCMT photographer for many years has been been mentoring Lauren as she develops her skill as a photographer. She IS the 101 Dalmatians cast photographer. This is Lauren in action…
You can see Lauren’s 101 Dalmatians photography here, and below:
It would be easy to farm out the many responsibilities to parents. However, the leaders of KCMT value and recognize the skills and potential of our local young people… the potential our teens have, and the potential this opportunity grows in the future of these talented young people. Teens who had started as chorus actors are now choreographing numbers for current shows, checking in and tracking the 100 children as they walk through rehearsal doors 3 days a week, writing original scripts for the very popular summer camp, and play a huge role in running the backstage… the list is long.
All of this – right here in our own backyard! There are so many positive and good things are being planted and nurtured in our children and teens through KCMT.
We began our journey with the group because my daughter saw Willy Wonka… years later we are deeply rooted. It is exciting and encouraging as a parent – to watch teens positively impact my children, and to know there is a positive place right where we live where my children can learn and grow.
- Jenny is a scattered mom of 3 who loves to dance, spray glitter, and dreams of being famous… You can read more about Jenny at her blog Jenny On The Spot, where she has been telling tales of maternal defeat and digression since 2004. You can also find her on Twitter.