Summer Stage Interns

From left, Brianna Tucker, Lacy Griffith, Gavin Stewart and Dylan Link plan Summer Stage activities.

Summer Stage is launching a Young Directors and Mentorship Program during the 2022 season, which will run June 27-July 23 at Gladeville Elementary near Galax. The theatre program serves young people ages 9-18 in the Twin Counties and surrounding areas.

“At Summer Stage, we believe the future and health of the performing arts begins with supporting young artists,” said Vicky Town, executive and artistic director of the program. “In the Twin Counties there are only a handful of theatre and voice teachers. Our board of directors felt very strongly that we needed to provide this opportunity.”

The interns will cover all aspects of theater production. Brianna Tucker of Independence will handle the technical elements, such as lights, sound and props. “At Summer Stage, I discovered I really liked working behind the scenes and I am excited to design the lights and props for our new season,” she said.

Providing this experience for emerging creative leaders and mentors fosters meaningful relationships, invigorates the creative work, and attracts others to the program and community, Town Said. The interns will have the opportunity to produce a 30-minute fairy tale comedy called “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” on July 15 at 10 a.m.

While they will be supported by the Summer Stage staff, actors and mentors, they will handle all aspects of the production themselves, Town said.

“This is a very funny play and I know the actors will enjoy playing surfer dudes and doing the chase through the audience and the sword fight. I can see it so clearly in my head,” said Dylan Link of Woodlawn, who will be directing the play.

He will be joined by assistant director Lacy Griffith of Hillsville, who is also composing incidental music for the show. “I’m excited to provide the soundscape for ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’ because it’ll add a new layer to the show,” she said. “And I am really looking forward to assisting with the ‘Wizard of Oz’ musical and collaborating with the other interns.”

The interns will assist seasoned professionals in producing The Storybook Theatre Festival for young audiences on July 8 at 10 a.m., and the Main Stage Musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” which will conclude their season on July 22 at 7 p.m. and July 23 at 2 p.m.

All four of the interns live in the Twin Counties, but they will be mentored by established theater and music professionals from Philadelphia, Nashville and the Ashville area. They have already been in contact with their mentors as they begin preparations for the Summer Stage season.

“I’ve had the opportunity to perform all over the state in Honors Choir and State Choir. Being able to coach the Summer Stage singers and actors and encourage them is a great way for me to give back by sharing the skills I’ve learned at Grayson’s music department and Summer Stage,” said Gavin Stewart, who has performed in the summer program since it started in 2018.

The Summer Stage actors and technicians not only work hard, they also enjoy social activities such as pizza and pool day and the ice cream social. This year, the interns decided to create Throwback Thursdays, where Summer Stage actors will attend rehearsals dressed from different musical eras. The featured music will be played during rehearsal breaks and painting sessions.

Interested in joining Summer Stage? For more information, visit graysoncounty summerstage.org. Download an application from the “Grayson County Summer Stage” Facebook page or contact Vicky Town at (316) 308-5233.