Northern Stage's YES, a Valuable Home for Theater Kids in the Upper Valley
Sep 26, 2017 02:25PM
● By Linda Ditch
Fourteen-year-old Roberto Silva-Neto, who attends Kimball Union Academy, says, “The Youth Ensemble Studio is a place where I can be myself and have fun with my theater friends (which are the best type of friends). YES is a place where I can pursue my dream of theater with people who share the same dream. I also get the chance to work with amazing people like Eric Love. Eric has been such a father figure to me and an inspiration to me, and I couldn’t imagine a world where I hadn’t met him."
Eric spent six years acting and directing in New York City before joining the Northern Stage staff. He has a BFA in Musical Theater from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and made his Broadway debut in BC/EFA’s Gypsy of the Year, performing to sold-out houses at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
“Helping the YES actors grow, flourish, and shine is very exciting and deeply rewarding,” Eric says. “I set my expectations for them very high and I don’t waver. It’s extraordinary what these kids can accomplish when they set their minds to it.”
Fifteen-year-old performer Ella Falcone says, “The YES workshops provide fabulous opportunities to learn techniques from talented professional actors, and then see how they apply these to their own performances on the main stage. I also have lots of fun with my director Eric Love and fellow cast members while putting on productions. Over the past few years, YES has helped me build my skills to become a better performer.”
Theater is an art form that requires face-to-face contact. In rehearsals, we practice the art of really listening to our scene partners. We study each other’s facial expressions. We practice clear speech and how to access our emotions. We solve complicated problems together. And when it comes time to perform, we share a piece of art with our friends, family, and community in real time.”
Eric says, “And at the end of a show, when the applause rings out and the actors take their bows, they get the satisfaction of having accomplished something extraordinary. Creating high-quality theater is an invaluable experience for a young actor. And whether or not these students pursue a career in acting, in the Youth Ensemble Studio they learn that they can succeed at anything they set their mind to.”
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