By Audrey Siegler, Patel Conservatory Theater Instructor
Some Patel Conservatory theater students had a great time in Neverland last weekend.
In February, the Conservatory was approached to provide entertainment for the Friends of Joshua House Fundraiser held on Saturday, April 28th at the Bale’s Mansion in Davis Island, once owned by the Steinbrenner family. The fundraiser committee was interested in having several students provide ambiance and help create the mood for their Neverland themed event. I have always been an advocate for the work that Joshua House does, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for our students to get involved to support a great cause. With some help from Tina James, our education programs coordinator, and theater faculty Ami Sallee and Matt Belovpavlovich, we began to work towards this goal.
After finalizing the details and visiting the home, Matt and I reached out to some of our most well-rounded students with this unique performance opportunity. The response was amazing! Everyone jumped at the opportunity! Who wouldn’t want to dress up in a Neverland character and play for an evening at a mansion?
Twenty-one students were selected and met for one rehearsal where they were fitted for their lost boy/girl costumes and worked in small groups of mixed age levels to create appropriate structured improvs. With a little coaching from Matt and I, and a lot of support from each other, the students created great bits of entertainment for the event.
The night of the event started off a little rainy, but soon cleared up. The kids had a blast and the guests really enjoyed their presence.