If you reach for the moon, the worst thing that could happen is you catch a star. Well, I need to tell you about a theatre gem in Westport that you will not want to miss, especially if you have school age children. This place reaches for the moon every day… and creates the stars. It’s called Center Stage Theatre Company and is located in downtown Westport, Connecticut. Center Stage takes theatre for children and makes it accessible, inspirational, unforgettable.
We moved from New York City a few years ago. My daughter was then and still is extremely into acting, and not just in the drama queen way, in a serious, it’s everything she ever wants to be way. When she was little she was on the Guiding Light and in a short film. Long story short, when we moved to Westport we searched thoroughly for the best place to cultivate her talent and interest. Someone told us about Jill Jaysen, the founder and artistic director of Center Stage. When we found Jill, she asked to meet us in person. To tell you the truth we were not sure what to do – she wants to meet us?! Most places care only about collecting your money, not if you are a good fit! The meeting was all in all quite impressive. Five years later, we’re still a part of Center Stage and can’t think about ever leaving.
Jill has a way of discovering a diamond in the ruff. Just a few weeks ago, I just saw another play by Center Stage called “All Shook Up”. Right before intermission a middle school girl walked up front stage and began a solo of Elvis’ “Only Fools Rush In”… slowly the rest of the cast came on stage and joined in. I saw the show four times and each time it brought tears to my eyes. Jill makes each child special and stand out in his or her own incredible way. This girl I mentioned? She, in fact, didn’t even know she had such an incredible voice. Jill helped her find it…a gift that will help guide her through a wonderful life.
Jill and her team of incredibly talented award-winning Broadway actors, directors and professionals nurture the children to be all they can be, to believe in themselves, to be strong and respectful, to be not afraid. She teaches them about the “fouth wall” that is between them and the audience – to look and speak as through there is a fourth wall, to create the scene on stage as true, becoming the character. Her classes are small so the kids get individualized attention. At the end of each session there is an incredible performance be-it a play or some culmination of the class to demonstrate and take great pride in what they learned.
Whether your child is interested in acting or not, Center Stage is a must. Jill will teach your child to stand up and speak in front of an audience with confidence and poise. This skill is vital for success in the world of business or really any job. I wish I would have had it when I was at my job at Revlon! And even beyond new-found confidence and a sense of presence, Center Stage will bring you and your family a group of friends and portfolio of memories that will last forever. To find out more about this shining star check out www.centerstagetheatrecompany.com.