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“Schoolhouse Rock” the Process

Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater, Inc. (a 501c3 pending nonprofit) has been hard at work on their inaugural production of “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” Under the direction of Autumn Kersey (me), Erin Van Engelen, Mary Jensen and Shannon Foy, this troupe of 16 young actors, ages 10-15, are really amazing kids!

Opening NumberI designed this particular program with a focus on the process. Unlike traditional children’s theater (adults acting for young audiences), the outcomes of youth theater are tied to the process for the young performers, rather than the final performance – though we think that’s pretty important, too!

Theater experiences have the opportunity to teach important life skills and I plan to take full advantage of the opportunity. The young cast is learning about all the aspects of producing a show including budgeting, fundraising, set design and build, marketing and props. They are also gaining life skills such as working through challenging situations, problem solving, patience, diversity, and team work. Of course, we also spend a lot of time on performance-improvement activities that help build confidence and encourage the kids to take personal risks. We also spend some time working on taking responsibility for our personal health including conversations about sleep, nutrition and exercise.

Set PaintingEach week we wrap up with some reflection and goal setting time, a process
I hope is adding value to the overall experience.

So far, rehearsals are coming along really well. The show opens Oct. 26 with three performances (11am, 3pm & 7pm) at Meridian Middle School. The young actors are responsible for selling tickets, and we have tickets available online ( The goal is to sell 200 tickets to each of the three performances. The kids are also responsible for either finding a corporate 3 is a Magic Numbersponsor, fundraising, performing extra chores, or otherwise securing a performance fee. The fee covers the cost of royalties, performance space rental, t-shirts, scripts, and cast party expenses. So far, the kids have come up with some great ideas to raise the money. I felt like this was an important conversation and lesson for the cast. Learning how to fundraise is a skill that will take them far in life, as I have learned.

So, here’s my appeal – if you’re interested in assisting one of our cast members with their fundraising efforts, please let us know! These kids are working really hard and your support will help them reach their overall fundraising goal of $2,800. Message me at for more information.

Thanks for your consideration! We’ll post more soon.

Making Props