by Rebecca Indianer
“I want kids to know about performing arts–how a theater operates—[to] teach them new skills and enhance the ones they already have, not just get a script, memorize it, and be in a play. I want more than that for them and [for] the community.”
–Jeff Boyer, founder of SKY Theater.
Stockbridge Kids & Youth Theater (acronym SKY Theater) is returning to the stage after several years on hiatus, and it hopes to be like a free community college for area youth, specializing in performing and theater arts.
SKY Theater provides hands-on learning experiences in the performing arts to area youth, ages 6 to 18. Youth learn to build and design sets, write plays, learn improvisation skills, acquire auditioning skills, develop teamwork skills, and more. SKY Theater is for kids who want to be on stage or work behind the scenes. There’s a place for everyone—especially in SKY Theater’s upcoming Variety Show slated for Nov. 8, 9, and 10.
What do they mean by variety show? “It’s different from usual theater performances in that it highlights the various talents or skills each participant has,” Boyer explains. “Like we have someone who will be playing guitar and singing an original song. Another is doing a gymnastic performance. Others, who may not know what their talents are yet, will be provided with skits and other things to try. In short, the variety show is like Saturday Night Live, but for kids.”
Boyer envisions the Variety Show as the beginning of a long line of SKY Theater productions and learning opportunities. SKY’s goals are to go more in-depth, teaching area youth theater and production skills they wouldn’t otherwise receive—and do it at no cost to the students.
Boyer hopes to generate funds for the productions through grants and donations, so all kids will have access to the theater arts. Through their work with SKY Theater, youth can learn what it takes to produce a show, from acting or singing onstage, to directing shows, to serving as a technical director or stage manager. Participants may work with lighting and sound, write skits and plays, collaborate on projects, oversee stage production, do stage set-up, and the list goes on.
SKY Theater hopes to be like a free community college for area youth, specializing in performing and theater arts.