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  • Joanne Voors

INNOVATION

Have you ever looked at Children's theater programs and thought to yourself, how many times can they do that one show? Maybe it's Annie, Lion King, Adams Family, even Les Miz JR. Most Theater programs for kids take professional shows, written for Adult characters and throw JR on the title and keep it somewhat clean. But really, what are these organizations, schools, teachers doing for the future innovative thespians?

In school, kids are taught not to plagiarize. They can base a story on life or historical events but they have to be very careful in wording their written assignments so as to not classify as plagiarism. Why are we not giving our youth the opportunity to become innovative and creative thinkers, writers, artists? It goes beyond the arts, we are stifling our kids living experience with facts, propaganda and downright militant schooling.

What do we really know about what lies in a young mind, how do we encourage children to feel, emote, create and express their own ideas, views, perspectives?

In decades of the past, generations ago, kids played in the dirt, in the street with other kids, making something out of nothing, whether an imaginary game, piece of engineering genius, or putting on a play, complete with stage set. They would experience the sun rise and the sun set and what it was like to be responsible for their own safety and well-being as they grew up into innovative adults who created cutting edge technology and iconic artistic endeavors.

NASA has figured it out - in interviewing for space scientists, engineers and space program directors, they ask questions about their child hood. What did you play with as a child? They obviously want qualified and highly educated people in their program, but they also understand that they have to have people who are critical and creative thinkers. People who can solve problems that have never been navigated before, people who can be innovative and come up with new ideas and technology.

Its the same with Theater and Film. How many times can they do a remake of a movie? After the first remake, its already watered down the original story and lost its true essence and meaningful connection.

So with all that said, at Voors Theater Arts, we are all about our student's vision. Yes we create the backbone of a story and we present the basics to our students who then bring it to life and take it all the way to the stage. We get to work on stories and subject matter that really is relatable to their own lives. We want them to believe not just in a story but also in themselves. We draw from personal experience, each child learning to pull from their own memory. We build characters of fiction that are relatable and naturally appropriate for the age of students. We create an immersive learning environment, where anything goes and ideas can be tossed around, embraced and encouraged. We are loud, we work in organized chaos sometimes and we always encourage laughter. We explore our emotions and feelings in a safe and supportive way, with relatable solutions that help kids come out of their shells and embrace their own individuality. We learn the commonalities we share with our peers and embrace empathy as we all work as a team towards a common goal. We push limits so that children can personally grow and kids reap the rewards of their hard work as they feel and hear the applause at the end of a performance.

At VTA - we celebrate life, in all its complexities or subtle simplicity. We embrace unique and appreciate differences. We inspire others and lift up those who need confidence boosts. We enlighten with fresh ideas and the spirit of acceptance. We nurture each and every child who enters our programs and offer them an outlet for all their desires of enrichment and growth.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork and at VTA, we are all working together, all as important as each other to the success of our shows an projects.

We are a family of innovators, communicators, visionaries, poets, writers, musicans, directors, leaders, speakers and the future of change.

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