FAMILY FRIDAY: CELEBRATING PARENTS
By Megan Flød Johnson, Program Specialist
Parents and caring adults are the driving force behind so many magical moment for young people. You’re coordinating schedules, making sure young people rest/play/eat/repeat from dawn to dusk each day. We see and honor your efforts, especially during the extra challenge of COVID-19. So often, we’re talking about ways to support young people in our blog posts. Today is a post about how parents at SteppingStone support young people today and every day.
Teens have had a season of cancellations and disappointments: graduations, proms, performances, and gatherings to celebrate their accomplishments- all canceled due to COVID-19. Families knew that Disney’s The Little Mermaid was an opportunity to make something special happen for their teens, no matter what the challenges.
Families made so many sacrifices to make sure their young actors were safe, on-time, and supported throughout the process. To keep each other safe way back in April, actors and crew decided to self-quarantine for two weeks and their families supported them by making sure they showed up for Zoom rehearsals. Families drove actors to socially-distant, in-person rehearsals outside on SST’s front lawn.
After 5 months of hard work, families and the production team decided to hold live, in-person performances downtown St. Paul. Families made sure actors arrived to in-person dress rehearsals on time and considering every possible safety precaution from face masks to making sure they only touch their own props and costume pieces.
Parent volunteers showed up early to set-up chairs, sanitize surfaces, prepare the hand sanitizer, and seat audiences of 75 people.
Families were there to cheer on the youth actors during all 3 performances! Parent volunteers reset audience seating after each performance so audience members could remain a roomy, 6-ft distance from each other. Families donated money so that their kids and all kids can have future opportunities to make collaborative theatre, together. The Little Mermaid could not have happened without the high level of family support for youth artists.
Parents are the special sauce that makes anything happen for young people. Magical moments can be huge like putting on a play or small like making a young person feel seen and heard. YOU DO THIS EVERYDAY. Thank you for making it so young people show up and contribute to their cultural community.
Keep doing what you’re doing and know that we support you, too. SteppingStone theatre is your partner in enriching the lives of young people and defending youth arts!