Valparaiso’s prestigious Memorial Opera House continues to use theatre and the arts to build community. Despite all of the theater’s public events being cancelled for the remainder of the year, the Memorial Opera House is utilizing alternate methods to provide its services. In particular, its youth program, The LimeLights, has benefited greatly from going virtual while still reaching out to its core audience.
In collaboration with BAM Theatre, the LimeLights Youth Theatre Program focuses on the education, confidence, and creative growth of youth through hands-on artistic experiences such as professional actors providing tips and Q&A style conversations offered in the Master Classes. With classes focusing on strengthening communication, presentation, and teamwork skills, this program is designed to stimulate students’ interests in theater and the arts, whether they aspire to be an actor, designer, director, artist, dancer, and so on.
“During my time in the LimeLights’ Master Classes, I’ve learned how to sing a lot more cleanly and how to memorize my lines better,” said Raegen Smedley, a student in the Limelights program. “When I look back at my experiences in the program, it makes me happy because I had so much fun learning about myself and making new friends. Not only do you grow as a student but as a person as well.”
Smedley also commented that the LimeLight program is a great place for students to get out of their comfort zone and make new friends. She said the best thing a new student can do is to just be themselves since everyone in the program is so friendly and welcoming.
“The care and guidance the instructors offer during the classes is the defining factor of the program since all of them take their time with each student and making sure they are learning and thriving,” said Addison Clark, another student in the Limelights program. “In these classes, you really learn how to refine yourself and your skills. In my case, I learned that I have so much talent. I just needed to break out of my shyness.”
Clark concluded by saying the classes are incredibly empowering and that she recommends them to anyone. She has met people who she thinks she’ll be friends with the rest of her life.
Memorial Opera House is dedicated to cultivating the arts in individuals of all ages and connecting the theatre community at large. The next LimeLights program begins on Monday, December 7, so be sure to register online if you are interested! For more information on the Memorial Opera House’s LimeLights youth program, please visit http://siteline.vendini.com/site/memorialoperahouse.com/education.