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My kid wants to do Musical Theatre…now what? – Part 2

By: Claire McNeill

Last week, I started a new blog series as a resource for new drama mamas (and dads). If your child has fallen in love with musical theatre and you’re not sure where to start, I’m here to help.

Be sure to read the first post so that you’re up to speed – click here to read the first installment.

Last time, I shared about supporting your child’s passion. Now, I want to encourage you to let your child’s passion become your passion. You don’t know much about theatre? That’s okay – you and your child can learn about it together!

I firmly believe than an artist needs to be inspired. That means that your child needs to be exposed to lots of different types of performing and literary arts. Your child needs to be seeing shows – and not just musical theatre. Find Shakespeare, dance concerts, local professionally produced productions, national tours, even Broadway shows televised in the movie theatre. Get lost on YouTube watching old recordings of past Tony Award performances. Listen to the Original Broadway Cast recordings of musicals you have never heard of. Go to your local music shop and peruse the sheet music. If your child thinks they love musical theatre, learning about all of these things will help them know if they would like to continue pursuing it. What a great excuse to spend time with your kid doing something fun!

Having these unique cultural experiences will not only inform your child as an actor, but make them a more well rounded person. Who can argue with that?

If you can afford it, save up your pennies to take your child to New York City. If you live in Dallas like I do, it is actually cheaper to (easily!) purchase half-price tickets in NYC than it is to go see the national tours that come through town a few years after the show has left Broadway. Some of my most treasured memories as a child were seeing shows on Broadway and the West End with my parents.

Following your child’s performances, show your enthusiasm. There’s nothing worse than feeling like your parent would rather be at home watching the big game than stuck at the theatre seeing your show. My students know when their parents don’t like theatre and it makes the experience less exciting for them. Do time steps make you tear up? Do monologues make you feel like a maniac? That’s okay…your secret is safe with me. I encourage you to try to see theatre through your child’s eyes and fall in love with it like they have. If nothing else, see that they have found a place where they can belong. Even the grumpiest theatre-goer can get behind that.

Shine students displaying their showmanship…and excitement for musical theatre.

My kid wants to do Musical Theatre…now what?

By Claire McNeill

I’m excited to start a new blog series as a resource for my favorite kind of parents…drama mamas (and dads too, of course)!

I often have students who surprise their families with their love and talent for musical theatre. Many of their parents have no experience in the performing arts and would like to support their kiddos but have no clue which way to turn in order to guide them.

So…I’ll be writing a series of blog posts titled, “My kid wants to do Musical Theatre…now what?”

First, I’ll be addressing the number one question of this nature that I get from parents: “SHOULD I support my child’s dreams of pursuing musical theatre?

So many parents are afraid of the perceived cut-throat nature of theatre. I think that many parents fear that their child “isn’t good enough” and that Broadway isn’t a realistic dream. Or maybe parents believe their child is good enough to “make it” but they are worried that their kid will end up living in a 300 square foot apartment in NYC with 6 roommates and waiting tables for their entire adult life. If you hold these fears, I want to encourage you to think beyond these possible preconceived notions and consider the benefits.

There are so many exciting professions in theatre: acting, producing, teaching, music directing, choreographing, writing, and of course, my favorite option – directing.

But let’s not put the cart before the horse. If your child is in elementary or middle school (and maybe even high school), who’s to say that your child is even going to want to pursue a career in theatre? What if I told you that theatre is a hobby that will allow your child to grow their confidence and self-worth; learn how to collaborate with a group; grow their leadership, public speaking, and responsibility skills; make friends; become more physically active; hone their critical thinking skills; raise their test scores; gain empathy through acting; learn how to read music; and develop cherished life-long memories? When you see those benefits on paper, it’s a no-brainer! In my opinion, the skills that are gained and the benefits of children’s and youth theatre are unparalleled to any other hobby.

But, forget about test scores and resumes and building skills for a minute. Here’s the short version of my answer: Does musical theatre bring your child joy? Do you see them come alive every time you pick them up from rehearsal? Have they discovered an untapped passion? Then, by all means, you should support your child in pursuing musical theatre! If your child is in a safe and wholesome atmosphere and falling asleep with a smile on their face every night when they leave the theatre, it’s a win. Maybe right now, let’s just let our kids be kids and not worry about what the New York casting agents are going to say quite yet.


Proud Shine students after a performance of Annie Jr.

 

Shine Hires New Teaching Artist

Our Fast Growing Children’s Theatre and Performing Arts Studio Gains New Acting Instructor


Clayton Sackett

Plano, TX – We are proud to announce that Clayton Sackett has joined our team as an acting instructor. Clayton lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the majority of his life before moving to Allen, TX in 2014. He started in the Acting program at KD Conservatory but quickly switched to Musical Theatre because, in his words, “Musical Theatre students have to be better actors.” He graduated with his degree in Musical Theatre Performance from KD Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts and started teaching a year after. He comments, “I’m extremely excited to be at Shine and teach each student about the joys and depths of performing.”

Clayton has been heavily involved with the DFW theatre community since moving here. Some of his favorite roles have been: Tony (West Side Story), Billy Bigelow (Carousel), The Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Willy Wonka (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Cinderella’s Prince (Into The Woods).

We’re thrilled to welcome Clayton to our growing studio. His passion for the performing arts and enthusiasm for teaching will be a blessing to our wonderful students. Welcome, Clayton!

Congratulations to the Cast of High School Musical 2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troy Bolton Noah Sowalskie
Chad Danforth Jack Reece
Jack Scott Aidan Laird
Ryan Evans Hunter Hurt
Zeke Baylor Cooper Ragle
Gabriella Montez Arianna Sy
Taylor McKessie A’myeh Fisher
Sharpay Evans Sophie Dryden
Martha Cox Hannah Patterson
Kelsi Neilson Georgia Bryant
Fulton Isaiah Baumann
Sharpettes Kinley Kitchens
Sabra Armstrong
Avery McElya
Synchronized Swimmers, Cheerleaders, Ball Dancers, Hula Dancers, Makeover Artists, Pool Kids, Tiki Dancers, Fish, Talent Show
Abbie Sutton
Allison Harp
Kenna Morris
Lainey Gerard
Isabel Bonilla
Sarah Raishe
Ryann Jenkins
Pool Boys Jonathan Rizzo
Joshua Patterson
Theresa Templeton Kirsten Schilling
Janey Fire Riley Unterbug
Billy “Hot Rod” Flatley Toby Laird
Robby Shimshank Lliam Mattingly
Tailor Jillian Conaway
Dermatologist Rachel Childers
Valet Emily Couch
Hairdresser Lily Murray

Congratulations to the cast of Into the Woods at Shine! (Elite Production)

Click here to purchase tickets.

Oak Cast Pine Cast
Cinderella Juliet Schonhoff Emma Foughty
Jack Joshua Patterson Jonathan Rizzo
Jack’s Mother Layla Rorem Kendall Cousins
Baker Jack Schonhoff Geoffrey Choate
Baker’s Wife Lydia Long Sarah Jensen
Little Red Riding hood Lainey Gerard Christine Sullivan
Witch Maren Flechsig Arianna Sy
Cinderella’s Mother/Granny Hannah Patterson Phoebe Choate
Narrator/Mysterious Man Kevin Hyland A’myeh Fisher-Jeff
Rapunzel Skyler Gerard Olivia Smith
Steward William Choate Aidan Laird
Stepmother Juliet Eidson Darron Choate
Florinda Sabra Armstrong Olivia Yarbrough
Lucinda Avery McElya Allie Turner
Rapunzel’s Prince/Cinderella’s Father Isaiah Baumann Andrew Sullivan
Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf Noah Sowalskie Cade Sturgeon

Congratulations to the Main Stage Cast of Annie!

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Click here to purchase tickets for the 5:00 and 7:30 shows!

(In Order of Appearance)

Molly –  Emmy De Jesus

Pepper – Avery McElya

Tessie – Shiloh Petersen

Kate – Christine Sullivan

July – Jillian Conaway

Duffy – Lily Murray

Annie – Olivia Smith

Miss Hannigan – Sophia Quartaro

Oliver Warbucks – Jackson Schonhoff

Rooster Hannigan- Isaiah Baumann

Lily St. Regis – Emma Foughty

Grace – Kendall Cousins

Bundles – Kaleb Law

Drake – Aidan Laird

Lt. Ward – Dane Reece

President Roosevelt – Dane Reece

Bert Healy – Kaleb Law

Star to Be – Riley Unterbug

Man in Brownstone Window – Aidan Laird

Apple Seller – Claire Perlick

Cecille – Christina Contoveros

Annette – Elizabeth Contoveros

Mrs. Greer – A’Myeh Fisher-Jeff

Mrs. Pugh –  Juliet Schonhoff

 

Servant Ensemble and New York City Ensemble

Allyx Shirar

Megan Morris

Abbie Sutton

Zion Jeff

Carina Kenefick

Rachel Childers

Claire Perlick

Kaleb Law

Aidan Laird

Dane Reece

Riley Unterbug

Claire Perlick

Christina Contoveros

Elizabeth Contoveros

A’Myeh Fisher-Jeff

Juliet Schonhoff

 

Congratulations to the Rising Star Cast of Annie!

Click here to purchase tickets for the 2:00 show!

(In Order of Appearance)

Molly – Lucy Alter

Pepper – Sydney Saynor

Tessie – Sara Quartaro

Kate – Isabel Bonilla

July – Rylee Gebert

Duffy – Caroline Grane

Maggie – Kamille Harden

Sally – Sophia Zapata

Annie – Lainey Gerard

Hannigan – Skyler Gerard

Warbucks – Will Singleton

Rooster – Oliver Chen

Lily – Peyton Maggard

Grace – Kassidy Harden

Bundles – Andrew Turner

Drake – Luke Miller

Lt. Ward – Luke Miller

Roosevelt – Andrew Turner

Bert Healy – Oliver Chen

Star to Be – Allie Turner

Apple Seller – Harper Lutz

Cecille – Allie Turner

Annette –  Jessica Howes

Mrs Greer – Andi Howes

Mrs Pugh – Alli Howes

Usherette – Harper Lutz

Man in Brownstone Window – Andrew Turner

 

New York City Ensemble and Servant Ensemble

Alli Howes

Andi Howes

Jessica Howes

Harper Lutz

Sophia Zapata

Andrew Turner

Luke Miller

Congratulations to the Main Stage Cast of Beauty and the Beast!

shine-plano-children's-theatre

Belle – Layla Rorem

Beast – Isaiah Baumann

Gaston – Jack Schonhoff

Lumiere – Dane Reece

Cogsworth – Lliam Mattingly

Babette – Kendall Cousins

Mrs. Potts – Darron Choate

Chip – Toby Laird

Lefou- Aidan Laird

Maurice – Jack Reece

Madame De La Grande Bouche – Juliet Eidson

Madame D’Arque – Kennedy Soffa

Silly Girls – Sophia Quartaro, Olivia Smith and Rylee Polk

Old Beggar Woman/Enchantress – Christine Sullivan

Narrators – Allyx Shirar, Jillian Conaway, Megan Morris, Christina Contoveros

 

Villagers –

Aristocratic Lady – Elizabeth Contoveros

Fish Man –Jonathan Rizzo

Egg Woman – Abbie Sutton

Sausage Curl Girl – Claire Perlick

Baker – Quinn Rorem

Lady with Cane – Shiloh Petersen

Lady with Baby – A’myeh Fisher-Jeff

Candle Woman – Ana Yoch

Hat Seller – Avery Cousins

Milkmaid – Lily Murray

Shepherd Boy – Mason Polk

Congratulations to the Rising Star cast of Beauty and the Beast!

children's-theater-plano

Belle – Phoebe Choate

Beast – Geoffrey Choate

Gaston – Kaleb Law

Cogsworth – Joshua Patterson

Maurice – Andrew Turner

Lefou – Luke Miller

Lumiere – Lainey Gerard

Mrs. Potts – Kassidy Harden

Chip – Kamille Harden

Babette – Peyton Maggard

Madame De La Grande Bouche – Sydney Saynor

Narrator – Allie Turner, Rhys Williams, Allison Howes

Silly Girls – Harper Lutz, Kenna Morris, Sara Quartaro

Old Beggar Woman/Enchantress – Jessica Howes

Rose – Addison Hoyt

 

Villagers –

Sophie Cho

Jacob Essig

Caitlin Farguharson

Rachel Hamby

Ryann Jenkins

Andi Howes

Katie Ma

Abigail Pierson

Sophia Shi

Michelle Tang

Congratulations to The Main Stage Cast of The Lion King!

plano-children's-theater

The Lion King Runs November 4-6 at The Courtyard Theatre in Downtown Plano.

Rafiki – Olivia Smith

Young Simba – Jonathan Rizzo

Simba – Joshua Patterson

Young Nala – Keegan McAleer

Nala – Kendall Cousins

Mufasa – Cooper Ragle

Sarabi –Jillian Conaway

Scar – Katka Durcanska

Zazu – Shiloh Petersen

Timon – Aidan Laird

Pumbaa – Jace Tyson

Banzai – Kennedy Soffa

Shenzi – Sabra Armstrong

Ed – Claire Perlick

Sarafina – Megan Morris

Hyenas – Toby Laird, Kaleb Law, Cade Bergus

Lionesses – Sophia Quartaro, Christine Sullivan