By Marieke Gaboury at Southern Rep
January is upon us, and we’re actually present in the school. After such a long build-up, it’s so exciting to really be getting going.
Before the holidays, students were given applications to take home, and upon return in January, they scheduled interviews; which began this past week.
We are still dealing with the logistical twists and turns that come from working with a school that must really make funds stretch, while being ambitious about their academic programming. (But is it really any different in not for profit theatre companies?)
It’s interesting working with kids at this young age. Fewer of them have developed a specific interest in theatre (compared to work with high school students who have had more time for this focus to develop). In fact, there was one instance where a young man confessed he had only checked a box saying he had interest in acting at the urging and orders of his mother. But for the most part, there is already a real sense of excitement building from the kids. We’re going to have some tough choices narrowing down for the class size – but we should end up with a great group.
Being in the school, we get exposure to the strict atmosphere that is intended to keep kids in line, and focused on their studies. These are kids that are coming from a neighborhood that has been underserved for a long time – and they are being pressed to take school very seriously. And while Yo Nola requires a real commitment, we think that it might be just what these kids need – to get into a room and really play together. Playing with a purpose, and with defined goals, for sure – but creating something that comes from their hearts.
We are loving it!