Behind the curtain, the stage was filled with props and youthful anticipation, against a sparkling backdrop. Young voices filled the air as they nervously shuffled their feet and took their places. As the lights went down, a calm quiet replaced the backstage buzz. The brave, excited teens performing in the opening number were focused, and the performance was beautiful. The once dark stage at the Herberger Theater was now complete with light up gloves and LED lights embedded in the black curtain backdrop.
The theme of the 2021 Theater Camp performance, “Celebrating Resilience”, was woven throughout the 17 pieces in the show. Some of the performers shared spoken word poetry about their struggles, highlighting that they survived, and they are strong. One piece, entitled “Claudia’s Poem,” explored many deep and painful past experiences, but one line filled the room with hope: “My name is Claudia and I am not giving up!” The audience was also moved by the dance choreography and songs that the performers wrote by exploring ideas of self-reflection and the light within them.
The performers who participated in two weeks of theater arts classes, led by Free Arts teaching artists, explored their emotions to create pieces that allowed them to share their voices. A dance choreography concluded the performance. The teens moved purposefully across the stage and their recorded voices stood out against the music as they shared their hopes and dreams for their futures…
“To see my little sister again,” “To have my own salon,” “To become a brain surgeon.”
Free Arts is grateful to Herberger Theater Center for their 21-year partnership and helping to make this performance possible. Congratulations to all the teens who courageously performed in “Celebrating Resilience.” Free Arts would also like to express gratitude to the teaching artists and camp counselors who supported these amazing teens throughout their journeys.