My Miraculous Journey to VYT

The 2018–2019 Season is truly a special one – the 30th anniversary season for Valley Youth Theatre and my first season as Director of Education & Outreach. I am thrilled to join the “VYTeam” and am grateful for the opportunity.

January marks my fourth month not only on staff with VYT – but also as an Arizona resident. I knew that VYT was a magical place the moment Bobb and I connected over the phone. I was sitting in my Los Angeles apartment listening to stories about the joy and growth that young people experience on stage, backstage and in class with VYT. Did I want to be part of a team that is passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people through theatre? 100% yes. Theatre made a world of difference in my life, and I want to pay it forward.

Among all the wonderful experiences I’ve had as an artist and educator, it always comes back around to the beginning, the spark that lighted the way. For me, it was my first show with Yale Children’s Theatre and I was 18. My father had recently passed away, and I was struggling to get back on my feet. I was searching for support and a sense of community when I saw an audition notice for The Frog Prince. I tried out for the role of princess, and I got a part – as the King! I fondly remember wearing oversized red pajamas, a padded bodysuit and a bald cap for the role. The audiences would howl in delight at curtain call when the bald cap would “accidentally” fall off to reveal I was really a girl! I quickly realized I had found my calling – and a home – in theatre.

Today, I am excited to create new stories and make new memories with VYT, and the greater Phoenix community. I love how the magic of VYT extends beyond the stage. It begins the moment a child walks through the doors. We offer a positive, supportive opportunity for every child who visits for a field trip, auditions for a show, enrolls in a class, participates in camp or attends a VYT event.

It is a delight and an honor be a part of the creative team in my role as director for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. This magical story tells the tale of a self-absorbed china doll rabbit who encounters new friends on an unexpected adventure and learns how to love and care for others along the way. Now, more than ever, this message is needed in our world.

The final ingredient in this journey is YOU – the audience. It is your time to embrace and experience this remarkable tale. Xo.

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