Thursday, 01 December 2011 10:48

Youth Open stage at Swift Current Lyric offers opportunity

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Artistic young people in Swift Current can take advantage of a unique opportunity to perform for an audience at the Lyric Theatre’s Youth Open Stage Dec. 9.

“It’s exactly like our regular open stage nights, but for a younger group,” explained organizer Denise Wall. “We have a full sound system set up, and youth can sign up when they get there if they want to play. It could be anything — we even had a kid just get up and play guitar licks that he had been learning at his lessons.”

The audience for the event is always very welcoming and encouraging, so even first-time performers can feel confident getting up on stage.

It’s a great opportunity to get some experience in front of an audience at a venue where friends and family can come out and offer their support.

“Even if you go and mess up an entire song, everyone will still clap and cheer for you. As long as you are there trying, everyone will support you,” said Brady Frank, a student at SCCHS who has been a regular participant at the open stage evenings. “It’s a great thing to get involved with. Music is such a great thing, and through my participation in this, I’ve actually had offers and gotten paid gigs. It’s been really great for me.”

Frank is now working with middle schools in the area, to promote the event to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get on stage. For Frank, it was a way to gain experience performing when he was still learning to play music.

“We are really focusing on building up our audience and getting middle school kids more interested in coming out and performing,” Wall noted.

“Even if they don’t want to perform, we are encouraging them to come out and watch and see what it’s about to get used to the idea.”

Wall took over the responsibilities of organizing the youth open stage

three years ago, and said it can be discouraging to lose the high school seniors each year. She hopes by encouraging younger children to come out and get involved, there will be a more ongoing flow of both talent and appreciative audience.

“If I had had this growing up, I would have been doing it much sooner,” she admitted. “It’s a great chance to get onstage when kids otherwise don’t really have a lot of chances to do that. There are always lots of sports activities for them to be involved with, but we need to feed their artistic minds, as well.”

She added even youths who don’t want to perform like to get involved by volunteering regularly at the event, selling popcorn and concession items and helping with the door. By offering opportunities for youths to get involved with the theatre at a younger age, Wall hopes they will continue to be patrons of the theatre as they get older.

“It fosters the idea of getting involved with the community and instills an interest in the arts,” she explained.

“We offer a good variety of programming and always try to incorporate stuff for younger people as well. We believe in supporting youth and developing their artistic skills.”

Read 542 times

More In Entertainment...