Written by Katie Bottomley
Teaching the Upstage in-person pods has reminded me of the joy I get when I see children explore their creativity and shine. Not only are they working towards a showcase, but we play games and learn throughout the entire process. They are eager to create and explore their own ideas involving musical theatre. It’s always been important to me as a voice coach to ensure that each student gets the chance to sing a song that means something to them. Instead of assigning a random song they’ve never heard of, we explore songs that are perfect for their voice and give them options so they feel it is within their control. The students have also stepped up to try their hand at choreography, acting, and improv. The showcase becomes a collaboration between the group members, so they each have a huge role in the creation and final product. The pods program is a break from full scale shows, allowing each student to be the lead role. It’s a chance for kids of all ages to get their moment in the spotlight and feel a sense of normalcy during this unpredictable time. I look forward to teaching these pods every week to see what the kids will bring, and experience my own small sense of normalcy.