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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Theater Project Thanks Donors

Because of the support of donors and Theater Project patrons, youth in our communities are building confidence and gaining an appreciation for the performing arts.

Theatrical experience gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone, permission to make mistakes in a safe place, and the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

One of our students, Alexis Page of Piscataway, started coming to rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz with her grandfather - who was the drummer in the band. We needed extra munchkins and asked if she wanted to be in the show. She said yes, and both she and her grandfather have been with us for six years.

Over that time, Alexis has blossomed from a Munchkin to playing the lead in last year’s production of Legally Blonde Jr. Alexis discovered a love for live theater - especially Broadway. Next year, she wants to pursue directing as a volunteer.

Another of our students, Adam Kaunfer of Springfield, has been with us for seven years and went from playing Eugene in our 2009 production of Grease to playing Roger in this year’s production where he performed his first solo. Kudos to Adam.

In today’s increasingly competitive and digital world, the people skills required to “put on a show” - skills such as problem solving, empathy for others and a willingness to work together toward the common good - are competencies that will serve all our youth in the future.

We’'d be remiss not to say a special thank you to Mary Iannelli, Theater Project Board Member and volunteer Program Director of Theater Project Jr. Mary has been producing and directing summer youth musical theater programs for seven years. This yearly program - which runs for 8 weeks over the summer months and culminates in a weekend of live performances for friends and family - has given our children the opportunity to play over 150 theatrical roles.

Mary has created a family-like atmosphere where the children can really flourish and grow. And the kids simply LOVE it.

Financial support, and the support of our amazing patrons and volunteers, makes this possible. We are grateful.

If you’re interested in becoming a Theater Project volunteer, we would love to chat. Please send an email to, put the word 'volunteer' in the subject line, and we will get back to you.

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