This past summer, I was blessed with the opportunity of working with Diversity Youth Theatre at Luna Stage. As a high school graduate, I was looking for a memorable summer experience before it was time to embark on my college journey. I reached out to many theatres in New Jersey and New York City alike. I remember hearing about Luna Stage when they were located in Montclair, New Jersey as I drove by it to go to school every day. Not only did Luna Stage get back to me swiftly (before any other theatre company), but also they gave me the opportunity that was most fitting for my strengths as an aspiring professional performer.
I am grateful to say I will be studying musical theatre at the New Studio on Broadway at NYU Tisch this fall. Cheryl Katz was so kind and helpful and connected me with Kathy Dee Harrison, director of Diversity Youth Theatre. I met with her and it was a perfect match. We bonded over the importance of theatre impacting society and promoting change. I told her I had worked on an original production of Macbeth before and that I started a program, called “Sharing the Arts” at my high school, for children with special needs to enhance their lives through the arts. She was looking for someone who understood the process of building a piece of work from the ground, up. As Ms. Harrison also uses her craft to inspire the world, producing theatre for change, we knew that we could work well together.
The seven week camp was an eye opening experience for me. I learned the importance of balancing out discipline with fun. I was a leader and example to the kids in the program. Luna stage was not only so kind to offer us the space, but also very supportive of the program the entire summer.
Diversity Youth Theatre put on an original production of a musical called “Think! For Yourself”. As an intern, I, myself learned a vast capacity of theatre technique and performance aspects as well. I was written into the show and got to explore a role that was evolving over the couple of weeks. I felt as if I was in camp myself. It was what work is supposed to feel like. Work is supposed to be something you enjoy and look forward to. I had the best of both worlds. Luna Stage staff and directors all came to see the show. It was so nice to have their support and kind praise for our success. Luna Stage has made a difference by providing the spot where the camper’s dreams came to life.
I could not have asked for a more exciting summer experience. The friendships and bonds formed between the camp and Luna will not be forgotten. I know I will carry all the skills I have learned as I further my studies in the near future.
Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to work with you and I will definitely come back and show Luna stage my support.
-Catherine Geller, DYT Intern
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