Family Life at SCT, by Gloria Rigsbee
“Welcome to the Savannah Children’s Theatre!” are words you hear at the start of each production. Being welcomed into a place is very common, but being welcomed into a family is a rare occurrence. When they are spoken at SCT, your entire family is being welcomed into the amazing world of theatre and the family that is housed within their walls.
For us, the theatre bug bit our oldest daughter in April of last year and our family has loved every moment since! If you take advantage of each moment leading up to opening night, you can really get the entire family involved and excited about the upcoming experience. It can begin as simply as putting the soundtrack of the show into your CD player and by the time the curtain is up, everyone knows all the words and can sing along (in their head, of course) with the cast or at home in the shower! In fact, here’s a video of what goes on at my house when we’re all rehearsing for a show!
When a production is in the works, there is a role for everyone. At SCT, the roles available go far beyond those of the actors that grace the stage. There are so many magic makers the audience never sees! There are always hands needed back stage, sewing costumes, building sets and in the prop room, because a show could not function without an amazing tech crew. Once the show starts, there are still many ways to get more involved. You can sell tickets in the box office, help usher guests into the theatre, hand out playbills and work the concession area. My husband, Jason, is a regular behind the concession counter and has become a pro at making cotton candy!
I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the greatest opportunities offered by SCT: Main Stage productions. Auditioning for one of these shows gives you the chance to share the stage with your child. You are also given an inside look at the amazing care and passion put forth by the staff. My daughter convinced me to audition for Disney’s Tarzan this year, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Having an opportunity to take part in a show with many talented actors and most importantly, share in the joy and excitement a show brings to my child was a real blessing.
While I was aware of how connected my daughter felt to the staff at SCT and casts from the shows she has been in, being part of Tarzan reinforced the beauty of her extended family. Getting involved at the SCT has provided exposure to so many people and great opportunities to learn from and about each other. My daughter right away found a place where she belonged, but even more importantly, my family found an environment that brought us closer together and connected us to so many more families, making SCT our second home.
After watching a show opening night and watching my entire family be as excited as my little actress, I know without a doubt that SCT has done its job. They certainly live their mission “to inspire, educate and entertain children and families through the experience of live theatre both on and off the stage.” Without hesitation, the fulfillment of that mission has been seen in my family countless times this year alone. Now that Tarzan is over, we have moved on to Shrek, which opens May 30th. I am thrilled to once again share the stage with my daughter, and other truly talented adults and children. My younger girls are counting the days until they are old enough to audition for a show! Jason and I have loved that we have all become a part of such a wonderful family.