With your donation, you’re giving children a chance to grow in a place where they are a part of something special, and where their uniqueness is celebrated and encouraged.
Giving ensures that these stories always have happy endings.
It means that kids who need a place like this will always have it.
It means giving hope to parents and kids alike when they need it the most.
I want to tell you about Katie. Katie has had a difficult year. She’s in 3rd grade, she recently suffered the loss of a close family member and her dog, and on top of all that, she’s not fitting in at school. She’s going through a rough patch and it’s made her something her parents hadn’t seen before. It’s made her sad. As any parent knows, seeing your child unhappy is one of the most difficult things you can go through. Seeing that sadness disappear, for even a few hours, like it does when she comes to class, is all you can ask for. Class day is the day when the old Katie comes back. She’s learning to carry that smile with her all week.
When Ada, Carly, and Maggie started taking class, their mom’s hopes weren’t high. “Nothing had seemed to work for them up to that point. They each have something to overcome either physically or with feeling shy. It makes it hard to find their thing.” When they came up the elevator and entered into the rollicking and boisterous atmosphere of a Saturday morning at Stage Right, their mom braced for the worst. But when class ended, the girls emerged happy. “They talked about it all week and best of all, they couldn’t wait to come back the next week.” Now, they burst out of the car and rush to the elevator. They move from class to class and there is nothing that separates them from their peers. “The only bad part is when class is over and they have to go. We smile a lot these days.”
Katherine has anxiety and depression. Her parents are helping her manage it as best they can. “The hardest part for us is what’s always the hardest part: Why does she feel like this? What can we do to help?” Katherine likes to sing. Before this happened, she would sing all time. “We thought she’d have a hard time coming to a place that must be filled with extroverts, but as it turns out, that wasn’t true.” Katherine is thriving in her class. She loves the kids she sings with. Her mom says. “It’s like her anxiety and depression disappear when she goes to class. Her smile is infectious.”
The teachers and staff at Stage Right are artists. We dedicate our lives to using art to make the world a better place. But these stories I’m telling you are not the only ones here. We see kids every day who need something to help them fight what torments them. There's a problem, and we can all be part of the solution. Giving now means that any student who needs this in their lives will always have that chance. It means more programs and more ways that we can make the expressive and performing arts a difference maker for children who need it.
“We were scared about what was going to happen. I was watching my daughter disappear right in front of my eyes.” When ‘D' was a sophomore she ran afoul of her school's drama director. She was suffering from anxiety that was giving her crippling stage fright. She’d miss rehearsals or was unable to perform up to her potential when she was there. She felt isolated, and had lost any belief she had in herself. Her mom reached out to Stage Right with D’s story. We told her to come that night. Fast forward a year and a half later and D is getting ready to audition for colleges. Her stage fright has disappeared and, while she still battles her anxiety, she now has a place and people that help her battle it. “The thing that made the difference for my daughter wasn’t just the teachers, it was the community she became a part of. They made her feel loved. They gave me my daughter’s beautiful smile back.”
Community is what makes Stage Right a different experience for kids. The atmosphere of nurturing is a big part of the ethos here. We are a family—a family that will never deny someone who needs that in their lives. Children use their art to become better artists, but they also use it to feel better about themselves. Your help is necessary and needed. Your support means Stage Right doesn’t change what we are to make a bottom line. Your donation means kids and their needs come first, both artistically and emotionally.
Peter Jones is a Stage Right graduate who has traveled the world as a performer. The Stage Right Community and what it provided him has benefitted him since he was a kid. “Stage Right feels like home. Not only did it give me the tools to become a professional performer but it also gave me the tools to find out who I was as a person. If you want your child to thrive emotionally, physically, and mentally, put your child in a class at Stage Right.”
The truest measure of giving is your trust in what it will accomplish. Stage Right’s Stage Manager Anna Stewart, who just spent two years traveling the world with the prestigious Missoula Children’s Theatre, was the recipient of scholarships as a student. She is now here sharing ‘the gift’ with a new generation. “Stage Right! is where I grew up. It's where I learned to believe in myself. It's where I learned that in order to get anywhere in this world you have to put trust in others and in yourself. It's where I learned to be a leader as well as a team player. It's where I met my second family who I know I can call on anytime I need. It's my home away from home, and the reason everyday that I get to wake up and do the things I love.”