Friday, September 30, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Teen theatre

My wife and I don't have a whole lot of free time to go out. So when we do manage to get tickets to something and book the babysitter, we do our best to avoid the latest paint-by-numbers, forgotten-by-bedtime movie.

This week, we were lucky enough to attend a fundraising performance at London's major stage venue, the Grand Theatre. We attended our first high school project production last spring, and were blown away by the professionalism.

I was moved to write. Here's the result:

Talented young kids just ‘Grand’

Published Friday, September 30, 2005

The London Free Press

Halfway through this week’s opening performance of The Sound of Music, I closed my eyes and just listened. A full house had been brought to dead-silence by a troupe of 72 high school students, whose acting talents could easily be mistaken for professionals.

The Grand Theatre’s ninth annual high school project production continues a tradition that speaks volumes about the state of the arts in our city, as well as the state of our youth.

It’s easy for us to dismiss today’s teenagers as sullen and problematic. We focus on their failings – they talk back, get pierced and tattooed, and drop out – and completely ignore their sheer potential.

Their involvement in frontline theatre underscores how important our arts scene is in helping today’s generation lay down roots and build productive, professional lives.

As I watched this group of gifted actors make utter magic on the Grand’s stage this week, I felt immensely comfortable that a future world led by them would be in good hands. The kids are most definitely alright.

Update: I was elated to receive e-mail from a number of parents of kids in the show. The pride they have in their children practically jumped off the screen. I'm glad I chose to write about this, as it once again managed to touch readers. Cool stuff.

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