Folsom Theatre Company: Youth Take Center Stage
Jun 01, 2018 12:23PM
Issac, Samuel and Corey Snyder
Gallery: Youth Take Center Stage [4 Images] Click any image to expand.
Tracy Rodriguez, the founder and CEO of Folsom Theatre Co., has been involved in performing arts since she was eight years old. Her new youth musical theater nonprofit is currently housed at the Palladio, although a move might be in the cards soon, in order to accommodate the rapidly growing start-up. “We truly want to partner with every performing arts business in the community to give our youth as many opportunities as possible to succeed,” says Rodriguez. Their first production, Into The Woods, Jr., is slated for June 28-30 at Cordova High School’s Performing Arts Center; in early September, they’ll begin auditions for their production of Annie.
HLB: How did Folsom Theatre Co. begin?
TR: I’ve always had a love for live theater and performing arts—and recognize the positive impact it has on individuals as well as communities—so I got my children involved in theater at a young age. When our family moved to the area last year, we found there was a huge community of “theater families” yet only a limited amount of spots available to participate in productions. The existing theaters have been doing exactly what I hope to do: Bring a love of live theater to our youth. Although starting a theater when we moved here wasn’t the plan, we saw a vision and took a chance!
HLB: What is your mission?
TR: To inspire youth to dream, explore, think, and connect through imaginative storytelling—onstage, in the classroom, and in the community—all while developing character and confidence by training in the arts. Our programs encourage youth to navigate our complex world in a way that’s healthier, smarter, and kinder. In addition, our goal is to become the premier home for diverse performing arts programming and education by collaborating with artists, organizations, schools, and the community to encourage the creation, appreciation, and understanding of the arts.
HLB: How can the community get involved?
TR: There are many different opportunities, from working behind-the-scenes with costumes, sets, makeup, and props, to coordinating raffle donations, concessions, ticket sales, and ushering. Of course, as a start-up nonprofit, we’re always looking for sponsors, donations, and partners who are willing to support a local effort such as ours. We’re so grateful we have such a supportive community; without their support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do
HLB: In what ways do you hope to give back?
TR: In addition to honing a love of performing arts in our youth, we want to teach them to give back to the community that has given so much to us. I‘m excited for our youth community choir, Harmony and Melody, to make their way into local retirement homes to bring joy to older community members who might not be able to get out and about as much as the rest of us. folsomtheatre.com
June 19 — Artist Demonstration. Join the Folsom Arts Association at the Gallery at 48 Natoma beginning at 6 p.m. for a free art demo by award-winning painter Jeanine Robb. folsomarts.org/artist-demonstrations-2018
By Heather L. BeckeR
Photos by DANTE FONTANA