Amid the global pandemic which has forced the temporary closure of many performing arts venues, 16 youth-serving theatres across the country have come together to share a national tribute, performed by children within each community, to honor frontline workers.
The project titled So Many Heroes--pitched by Jeff Revels, Artistic Director at Orlando Repertory Theatre, led by Kathryn Van Meter on behalf of SCT, and features the work of local artists Rob Witmer and Richard Gray—empowers and amplifies the voices of young people during this time.
“We will be forever changed by our current events, and forever connected and bound together by our shared experience of isolation. As we begin to redefine what it is to share space, there is hope in our future because we are resilient…just like the young people in our communities,” said Van Meter.
Revels, knew that the network of theatres for young audiences could mobilize this tremendous effort. Together, Revels, Van Meter, Witmer and Gray began collaborating on what the national tribute could be.
“We have heard from the doctors and politicians, but not much from the kids of America. Writing musicals for young audiences has taught me how observant kids are. They see everything and absorb it all. They have been processing this like crazy, so, when asked to write this tribute, I knew it had to be in the direct, honest language that kids use,” said Gray, emphasizing the importance of hearing from young people during this time.
The tribute, which will be released on Friday May 22, can be viewed on the participating theatre’s Facebook pages at 6 a.m. (HST), 9 a.m. (PST), 11 a.m. (CT) or 12 p.m. (EST):
Adventure Theatre MTC (Glen Echo, MD)
Childsplay Theatre (Tempe, AZ)
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
Dallas Children's Theater (Dallas, TX)
First Stage (Milwaukee, WI)
Growing Stage (Netcong, NJ),
Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI)
Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD),
Lexington Children's Theatre (Lexington, KY)
Northwest Children's Theater & School (Portland, OR)
Oregon Children’s Theatre (Portland, OR)
Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando, FL
Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle, WA).
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
Trike Theatre (Bentonville, Arkansas)
Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston, MA)
“Children are at the center of so many of our organization’s missions,” said Van Meter, “and it’s a great honor to provide young people with a platform and opportunity to hear their voices rise during this unprecedented time.”
Founded in 1975, Seattle Children's Theatre (SCT) is an international leader in theatre for young audiences, producing more than 270 plays and 116 world premieres. SCT’s mission is to provide children of all ages with access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education.