When you’re 12 or 14 years old, it’s quite a thing to step out from behind the backstage curtain, follow your blocking, and literally feel the heat of the spotlight from the back of the auditorium as you say your lines, always with the fear of flubbing them in the back of your mind. It’s a rush that even many tough adults still avoid at all costs, remembering the fear, but it’s one that captures a few young spirits and never lets them go. Years pass, and they may pull up in a limo when they come home to meet an old friend at Nosh or The Roma. There can be no doubt that the current greats once played a sunflower or a goat in a second-grade play and somehow outshone the whole cast, ever more seeking rapt attention and honing the art of portrayal.


Well, if you want to honor those special, creative kids and help raise money for an organization that provides them with the opportunity to act, here’s your chance: STAGES Youth Theater has just stepped up their operation, with a new official black-box theater with expansive backstage areas and rehearsal space, and brand-new nonprofit status. They’re holding an adults-only soiree dubbed REVEL! to raise funds for the future of STAGES. It will be at the new space at 202 Woodford Street (a dedicated part of Woodford Congregational Church) on Thursday, November 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, considered purchased upon requisite donation at https://stagesyouththeater.org/revel-a-soiree-to-support-stages-youth-theater/. Expect apps, drinks, music, and general revelry — thus the party’s name.


If you’re thinking you’d rather spend the Jackson at Empire with a non-movie-star friend, just listen to Griffin Carpenter, a former STAGES student who is currently making a real go of it in the tough New York theater scene: "STAGES provided the foundation for whatever I have achieved in theatre. Gave me belief in myself, gave me unheard-of opportunities to challenge myself, and to feel the reward of tackling those challenges. STAGES set me on a path that I am still on today and I think back on it all the time with so much gratitude."


We don’t think that’s an act.

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